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" God bless the Puritan ! 
" Name, monarchs may not bear, 
Name, nobles may not share, 
Exult injrly we wear 

Linked to the heart." 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, 

In the Clerk s Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts. 

DAVID CLAPP, Printer. 


IN the early part of the present century, the Rev. Dr. 
THADDEUS M. HARRIS (at that time, and for many subsequent 
years, the much respected minister of Dorchester) wrote a 
history of this ancient town, and published it in the printed 
Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. 9, 


1st Series. In the latter part of his life he contemplated pub 
lishing a much more elaborate work upon the same subject, 
for which his long residence in the town, and his taste for 
historical research, eminently qualified him ; but before mak 
ing much progress in carrying out his design, his declining 
health and subsequent decease deprived the public of the 
accumulated materials chiefly entrusted to his memory. After 
this event, sundry gentlemen of Dorchester, impressed with 
the importance of collecting and preserving all existing ma 
terials tending to illustrate the early occurrences of the pio 
neer plantation of the Bay,* from which it is believed more 
than 200,000 persons now living in the United States can 
trace their origin, associated themselves together under the 
This Society has already published the valuable Memoirs 
of Roger Clap, James Blake s Annals of Dorchester, and 

* Massachusetts Bay, at the settlement in 1629, included only the territory between Nahant 
and Point AJderton. See Eudicott s instructions in Hazard, Tol. 1, p. 260. 


Richard Mather s Journal the original copy of the latter 
production, in the hand-writing of the author, having been 
accidentally discovered among some papers formerly belong 
ing to Mr. Blake. In furtherance of its purpose, the Society 
appointed a Committee to arrange and connect all such facts 
as they possess into a methodical History of the Town, inter 
spersed with such comments and remarks as would add to 
the interest of the subject. 

The sources of information within reach of the Society are 
only such as most of the early towns of Massachusetts can 
furnish. Nearly four years elapsed after the settlement be 
gan, before the present town organization of Massachusetts 
was formed ; and during the period of plantation existence 
few records were made except grants of land. An accurate 
detail of the early proceedings of the Dorchester plantation 
would be of great value to the history of Massachusetts, as 
it covers a period when the present institutions of New Eng 
land were unfolding, and the West Country Company, which 
selected this site for their abode, formed a prominent part 
of the great Association which gathered in England in 1629, 
under the wing of the Massachusetts patent, and, in the 
spring of 1630, sailed in seventeen ships for the Bay. Of 
this fleet the Mary and John, containing our company, were 
the first to arrive. The early transactions are doubtless much 
obscured by the removal to Connecticut, in 1635-6, of a large 
number of the prominent men of the first settlers, taking 
with them the church records. Diligent inquiry has in vain 
been made for those memorials. The present town record 
book probably commenced with the settlement in 1630, but 
the first two leaves, containing four pages, which may be 
supposed to have been the record of the first transactions of 
the plantation, are wanting, and were probably lost before 
Mr. Blake compiled his Anuals, more than-ene hundred years 


ago. The existing church records commence with the Cove 
nant adopted at the settlement of Mr. Mather, August 23, 
1636. The record of births previous to the year 1657 was 
accidentally burnt, and the few that have been preserved before 
that date were furnished afterwards from family Bibles. The 
few facts relating to tho first three years, are gathered from 
the Court Records, Winthrop s Journal, and some other pub 
lications usually resorted to in like cases, and from Roger 
Clap s Memoir. We would gladly exchange the well-filled 
pages of wholesome religious instruction, written by Mr. 
Clap for the benefit of his posterity, for an equal quantity of 
historical facts which his opportunities doubtless might have 
enabled him to record. Still, he has rendered an invaluable 
service by the relation as it exists. Mr. Blake s Annals are 
for the most part a transcript from the town books, with 
some valuable additions of his own. 

The manuscripts in the State archives have afforded valua 
ble information for our purpose, and the genealogical part 
has been aided by a diligent search of the Probate Records 
and Deeds of the County of Suffolk. 

Notices of matters which have originated during the pre 
sent century, have been compressed into the smallest space. 
Indeed, our limits have prevented the insertion of any refer 
ence to numerous subjects which from time to time have 
engrossed private enterprise or public interest. To do any 
thing like justice to a record of these, would be to publish 
facts already familiar to our readers, at the risk of abridg 
ing the circulation of the volume. We present the work as 
the result of earnest associated effort for the preservation and 
diffusion of a truthful record of the History of Dorchester. 

Should any irregularity in the arrangement of the materials 
of the work be discovered, or any repetitions be detected, it 
is hoped the reader will find an excuse in the mode of its pub- 


lication successive portions of it having been prepared, 
printed, and issued in numbers, at irregular intervals. The 
same excuse is also offered for any want of uniformity, in ap 
pearance, of the paper and typography of the volume. 





Smith s Voyage to Massachusetts, and the Excursion of the Ply 
mouth Pilgrims to the Bay 1 


Thompson s visit to Dorchester, and settlement on the Island 
afterwards called by his name. The Neponset Tribe of Indians 7 


Emigration in 1630. Mr. John White. Arrival of the Dorches 
ter Company . 13 


Mattapan selected by the Dorchester Company. The Town laid 
out and House Lots distributed. Portions appropriated for Cul 
tivation. The Trade of Fishing 20 


Boundaries of the Town. Freemen and their Privileges. Return 
of Emigrants. The Dorchester Record Book. Orders relating 
to Meetings of the Plantation 25 


Erection of first Meeting-House. Building of Stoughton s Mill. 
New Burying-Ground commenced. Controversy about remov 
ing to Connecticut , . . . .... 33 


List of the first Settlers of the Town 38 


Additional Settlers previous to 1636 93 

Second Emigration from England 100 


Privations and Influence of Woman in the Settlement of the Coun 
try. Additional Names of Male Inhabitants of Dorchester 
prior to 1700 142 


Removal of a part of the Colony to Connecticut. The Pequot 
War Orders of the General Court and of the Town . . 148 


Orders of the General Court and of the Town (Continued) . 181 


Settlement of Dorchester, in South Carolina, and of Midway, in 
Georgia . . . ~"7"~- 7 / / . , . 261 


Ecclesiastical Council at Medfield. Religious Association of Young 
Men. Land for Free Schools. Death of Gov. Stoughton. 
Boundaries of the Town. Town Orders, &c. . . . 266 


Arrival and Preaching of Rev. George Whitfield ; its effects in the 
Church at Dorchester. New Meeting-House. Siege and Cap 
ture of Louisbourg. Heavy drafts of Men and Money. Exces 
sive Drought. Great Earthquake. Death of Gen. Hatch . 303 


Colonial Events preceding the Revolution. Great Celebration in 
Dorchester. Patriotic Resolutions by the Town Rev. Jonathan 
Bowman. Rev. Moses Everett. Drafting of Soldiers for the 
War. Fortifying of Dorchester Heights. Small-pox Hospitals 320 


Forestalling Provisions. The Currency. The Revolution. 
Names of Dorchester men engaged in the War . , . 340 



Shays s Rebellion. Col. Pierce s Diary of Important and Interest 
ing Events 352 


Duel at Dorchester Point. Three young Men drowned. Annexa 
tion of Dorchester Neck to Boston. Revival of Business at 
Commercial Point. Gathering of the Second Church, and the 
Controversy with Rev. Dr. Codman ..... 371 


Political Parties. New Meeting-House of the First Parish. Situ 
ation of Dorchester. Houses. Population. Dress and Cus- ,^ 
toms of our Ancestors ....... 385 


Brief Sketch of the Religious Societies of Dorchester . . 404 

The Public Schools of the Town .... .419 

Brief Notices of the Early Teachers in the Public Schools . 479 


Graduates of Harvard College from the Town of Dorchester . 555 


Neponset River. Its Sources, Tides, &c. Neponset Tribe of In- 
dians. Navigation of the River. Various Fishes in its Waters. 
Ferries, Bridges, &c. . . . 574 


Some Account of the various Mills on Neponset River . . 600 


Societies, Banks, Ministerial and Church Lands, Burial Grounds, 
Epitaphs, &c * ... 642 



Page 25, eleventh line from the top, the name of Lieut. 
Peaks should have been printed instead of " Heakes." 

Page 35, twentieth line. It is not probable that Mr. Ma 
verick went to Windsor, as he died in Boston, Feb. 3, 1636 
perhaps at the house of his son Samuel at Noddle s Island. 

Page 48, fifteenth line, it should be 1661, instead of " 1651." 

Page 56, William Hannum, not "Hammond." 

Page 59, the last line should read John Hull, whose daugh 
ter married Judge Sewall. 

Page 67, fourth line from the bottom, read Josiah, not 
" Thomas. 77 

Page 80. We hear from Abner Morse that Thomas Rich 
ards left many descendants. 

Page 95, twenty-third line, Herring instead of "Haven." 

Page 97, twenty-ninth line. John Russell, an early donor 
to the Church, belongs in this list. 

Page 98, twenty-second line, read Richard Vore, not " Vose." 

Page 99. Elizabeth Vose, born 8 (6) 1661, was daughter 
of Thomas. 

Page 99, eighteenth line. There was no such person as 
Ebenezer, son of Henry Vose. 

Page 105. Add to Humphrey Atherton s children Eliza 
beth, who married Timothy Mather ; Margaret, who married 
James Trowbridge ; and Isabel, who married Wales. 

Page 108, fifteenth line, Samuel "Pierce " should be Sam 
uel Paul. 

Page 110, twelfth line, add Elizabeth, born Dec. 26, 1666, 
married Henry Vose. 

Page 110, twenty-second line. Robert Babcock had bro 
thers George and Enoch in Milton. George had a son George, 
born 26 (12) 1657, and died in 1734. Enoch died in 1711, 
leaving an^ only son, William, and daughters Susan, Mary, 
Elizabeth a nd Sarah. 

Page 111, eighth line, add Roger Billings, died Nov. 15, 
1683, aged 65. 

Page 118. Standfast Foster married Abigail Holman. 

Page 120, sixth line from bottom, the sentence should read 


the wife of Joseph Belcher, of Milton, and mother of Jo 
seph Belcher, minister of Dedham. 

Page 124. For " Hammond " read Hannum ; and for 
"Foye," reader?/. 

Page 133. William Robinson was killed in his mill-wheeL 

Page 164, third line, add for, after " you " ; 

" " nineteenth line, for "before" read desire. 

Page 195, twenty-second line, read Bolton instead of " Bat 

Page 273. It appears as if the writer referred to had con 
founded Chief Justice Stoughton with Judge Sewall. 

Page 301, eleventh line, for "Mather" Withington, read 

Page 345. Revolutionary soldiers omitted in previous list : 

John Pope served at Squantum and Rhode Island ; he was 
rai sed to the rank of Lieutenant. 

John Lemist was at West Point. 

Thomas Pierce was at West Point. 

Edward Foster was at Long Island. 
. Rufus Davis was in the marine service, under Com. Tucker. 

Jonathan Wiswall was at New York. 

Thomas Lyon was at Squantum, Roxbury and Ticonderoga. 

All of the above are well remembered in town, and were 
among the last of the Revolutionary pensioners who died. 

Page 377, seventh line, the number "eighteen" should be 

Page 411, twenty-fifth line, it should have been stated that 
Rev. David Dyer was installed, not " ordained." 

Page 411. Rev. Mr. Noyes also was installed, not "or 

Page 418. The Tenth Parish was organized as Unitarian, 
in May, 1859, and Rev. F. W. Holland, of East Cambridge, 
called as Pastor. 

Page 486, twentieth line, 60, not " $60." 

Page 528. For " Crehore," read Cochran. 

Page 534. Mr. Everett had other children. 

Page 573. James Pierce was born Nov. 20, 1825. 

Page 573. Edward L. Pierce is a graduate of Brown Uni 

Page 584, fourth line, the date should be 1787, not " 1777." 

Page 656. The first epitaph should read 

Abel his offering accepted is 
His body to the Grave his sovle to blis 
On Octobers twentye and no more 
ID tie yeare sixteen hvndred 44. 


upon the site of this ancient town as the only place 
of his landing within the bay. Smith entered what 
is now Boston harbor, in the summer of 1614, in a 
boat with eight men, leaving his vessels engaged in 
taking fish on the coast of Maine. He undoubtedly 
landed on the Dorchester shore, carried on some 
traffic for furs with the Neponset Indians, and then 
run down the south shore towards Cape Cod. He 
mentions that some French vessels had shortly before 
visited the same place, and defeated one of his prin 
cipal objects, by purchasing such furs as the Indians 



the wife of Joseph Belcher, of Milton, and mother of Jo 
seph Belcher, minister of Dedham. 

Page 124. For " Hammond " read Nannum ; and for 
" Foye," read Fry. 

Page 133. William Kobinson was killed in his mill-wheeL 

Page 164, third line, add for, after " you " ; 

" " nineteenth line, for "before" read desire. 

Page 195, twenty-second line, read Bolton instead of " Bat 

Page 273. It appears as if the writer referred to had con 
founded Chief Justice Stoughton with Judge Sewall. 

Page 301, eleventh line, for "Mather" Withington, read 

Page 133, fifteenth line, for < : 1638," read 1635. 

twentieth line, Abigail Reed not the daughter of William, 

rage oui, lourm imc uuu. bottom of the text, for 1693 " read 1695. 
Page 530, fourth line from bottom, instead of "Hannah, nad.ffltfa- 

e p a"e 571 William S. Morton went to College from Milton. 

Page 573. E. L. Pierce, born in Stoughton, went from, that town to 
Brown University. 

Page 577, third line, read Beaumont, instead of " Bomant. 

Page 631, sixth line from bottom, read Delaware, instead of " JNew 

Bowdoin Literary Association incorporated 1855. 1st President, 
Robert Vose, Jr. 1st Secretary E. P. McElroy. 

, ^_ _^ : ___ 

a^u Ltiu. TCe^fenth Parish was organized as Unitarian, 

in May, 1859, and Rev. F. W. Holland, of East Cambridge, 
called as Pastor. 

Page 486, twentieth line, 60, not " $60." 

Page 528. For " Crehore," read Cochran. 

Page 534. Mr. Everett had other children. 

Page 573. James Pierce was born Nov. 20, 1825. 

Page 573. Edward L. Pierce is a graduate of Brown Uni 

Page 584, fourth line, the date should be 1787, not " 1777." 

Page 656. The first epitaph should read 

Abel his offering accepted is 
His body to the Grave his sovle to blis 
On Octobers twentye and no more 
ID tie yeare sixteen hvndred 44. 



Smith s Voyage to Massachusetts, and the Excursion of the Plymouth 
Pilgrims to the Bay. 

THE earliest recorded evidence of the presence of 
civilized man upon the soil of Massachusetts, may 
be found in the oft-quoted voyage to New England, 
in 1614, made by Capt. John Smith, of Virginia 
notoriety, a reference to which is especially appro 
priate to the History of Dorchester, inasmuch as the 
concurrent testimony of various circumstances fixes 
upon the site of this ancient town as the only place 
of his landing within the bay. Smith entered what 
is now Boston harbor, in the summer of 1614, in a 
boat with eight men, leaving his vessels engaged in 
taking fish on the coast of Maine. He undoubtedly 
landed on the Dorchester shore, carried on some 
traffic for furs with the Neponset Indians, and then 
run down the south shore towards Cape Cod. He 
mentions that some French vessels had shortly before 
visited the same place, and defeated one of his prin 
cipal objects, by purchasing such furs as the Indians 


in that neighborhood had collected ; an occurrence 
which probably explains the fact mentioned by Mr. 
Winthrop, that Mr. Ludlow, in digging the founda 
tions of his house at Dorchester, in 1631, found two 
pieces of French money, coined in 1596. It has 
often been asserted that Smith entered Charles river ; 
and if no other record of his voyage existed than 
the one published in 1631, seventeen years after its 
occurrence, the assertion might have been credited. 
But this evidence is entirely overthrown by the map 
and description of his voyage, which he published 
soon after his return to England, wherein he em 
bodied his acquired knowledge of the geography of 
the country, and which proves conclusively that he 
did not visit that part of the harbor which receives 
the Charles and the Mystic, and where the city of 
Boston is situated. Smith s work, entitled the " De 
scription of New England," published in London, 
1616, contained all the information which he ac 
quired on the only visit he ever made to Massachu 
setts. It contradicts some of his subsequent publi 
cations, and confirms the statement made by Prince,* 
that the latter works were compilations from 
Winslow and others, who possessed more accurate 
knowledge than Smith ever had an opportunity to 
acquire. In the first work, he says of Charles river, 
" they report a great river, which I had not time to 
discover ; I was sent more to get present commodi 
ties than knowledge by discoveries ; " and his entire 
ignorance of this river is apparent from the map f 

* Prince s Annals, p. 128. f Reprinted in Mass. Hist. Col. vol. 23. 


which accompanies it. He makes the bay an inlet 
running in a southwesterly direction towards the 
Blue Hills (called Cheviot Hills), receiving no riv 
ers whatever, but he makes a broad straight river 
some miles to the north of the inlet, and separated 
from it by a promontory. This river runs directly 
into the sea, through a broad mouth, and he says 
that he had no occasion to examine " if the river 
doth pierce many days journey the entrails of the 

In his " advice to inexperienced planters of New 
England," published 1631, he says, "I took the 
fairest reach into this bay for a river, whereupon I 
called it Charles River ; " a direct contradiction of 
the map and the first record. This sentence doubt 
less caused the entry in the Charlestown records, 
made in 1664, fifty years after Smith s voyage, which 
has misled several recent writers in this matter. 
The probability is, that the quarrel which Smith 
mentions as occurring between himself and the In 
dians who followed him to Cohasset rocks, hastened 
his departure, and his explorations were very imper 
fect, and that his only knowledge of the great river 
called for Prince Charles, which he represented to 
the king as equal in importance to the river he had 
previously discovered in Virginia and called by the 
name of King James, was acquired in his intercourse 
with the Indians, or possibly from some European 
fisherman or fur trader who had preceded him.* 

* Smith s first description of Massachusetts, or Boston Bay, printed 
1616 (see Mass. Hist. Col. vol. 6, 3d series, p. 118 and 119), reads thus; 

* Then the country of Massachusetts, which is the paradise of all 
those parts, &c., the sea coast as you pass shows you large cornfields, 


Smith s account was doubtless the origin of the ex 
aggerated importance attached to this river by the 
first adventurers to New England, and it is very cer 
tain that no accurate knowledge of it was possessed 
by the patentees when the Massachusetts charter 
was obtained, or this tortuous stream would never 
have been selected as the boundary line between the 
Massachusetts and Plymouth colonies ; indeed, the 
whole of the present harbor of Boston seems to have 
been regarded by the early settlers as a part of 
Charles river. Eoger Clap says, Gov. Winthrop s 

fee., but the French having remained here near six weeks, left nothing 
for us to take occasion to examine the inhabitants relations, viz., if there 
be near 3000 people upon these isles, and that the river doth pierce 
many days journey the entrails of the country. We found the people 
very kind, but in their fury no less valiant, for upon a quarrel we had 
with one of them, he only with three others crossed the harbour of Quona- 
hasset (Cohasset) to certain rocks, whereby we must pass, and there let 
fly their arrows, &c." 

Smith s second description of Boston Bay, printed 1631, without 
making another visit (Mass. Hist. Col. vol. 3, 3d series, page 34), says 
K From this place (Salem) they have sent 150 men to the Massachu 
setts, which they call Charlton or Charles town. I took the fairest reach 
in this bay for a river, whereupon I called it Charles river, alter the 
name of our Royal King Charles." (Charles I. became king 1625, 11 
years after Smith s visit to Massachusetts, and 9 years after he published 
his first account, and was but 14 years old when Smith returned from 
his voyage.) 

Smith s map, published long after his first description (see Mass. Hist. 
Col. vol. 6, 3d series), proves conclusively his ignorance of Charles river. 
The evidence in favor of his landing at Dorchester is, that the French 
ships could not have found their way to Charlestown (and they had no 
occasion to go there, as the head quarters of the Massachusetts Indians, 
whose furs they wanted, were at the mouth of Neponset), the French 
money found by Ludlow, and the Indians following Smith to Cohasset. 

The evidence that Smith s description in 1631 was a mere compila 
tion, is conclusive. He slates, in 1616, that he was absent but six or seven 
months from England that he went to get commodities rather than 
make discoveries that he caught 60,000 fish, and collected 1500 stg. 
worth of furs, and says, " I had not power to search as I would." But in 
1631, he had a thorough knowledge of the geography of the country, 
had sounded five and twenty harbors, was acquainted with the pro 
ductions of the soil, and the religion and character of the inhabitants, 
which important knowledge was all suppressed in his first publication 1 


fleet anchored in Charles river. Gov. Dudley writes, 
we found a place three leagues up Charles river, and 
thereupon unshipped our goods and brought them 
to Charlestown. It is probable that Capt. Squeb, 
who brought the Dorchester company, was chartered 
for Charles river, and considered himself at the mouth 
of the river when he anchored in Nantasket roads, 
and there is no evidence that any large ship had 
ever penetrated further into the harbor, previous to 
the arrival of the Mary and John, in May, 1630.* 

In 1621, seven years after Smith s visit to Massa 
chusetts, took place the excursion of the Pilgrims 
to the bay, as related by Win slow. Any one fa 
miliar with the localities, who reads the relation, 
will perceive that the Pilgrims (ten in number, 
with Squantum, or Tisquantum, and two other 
Indians), on their first visit to Massachusetts, an 
chored at night under Nantasket head, where they 
met a few wandering Indians, doubtless sojourning 
temporarily at this place, for the purpose of obtain 
ing lobsters and other shell fish, abounding in that 
locality. With these Indians they held some inter 
course, and then run over to the Dorchester shore 
at Squantum, so called by them from the name of 
one of their Indian guides. On the following morn 
ing, the party landed, and marched three miles into 
the country, which brought them near the head of 
tide waters, on the south side of the Neponset. Here 

*Hubbard s assertion, repeated by Prince, that the Mary and John 
missed of Salem by accident, must be gratuitous, as Clap, a passenger 
on board, says nothing about it, but expressly asserts that they were- 
bound to Charles river. 



they found the deserted residence of the deceased 
sachem, Nampashemet, his grave, and a palisadoed 
fort soon after newly gathered corn, and shortly 
the women of the Neponset tribe, the men being 
absent. These women entertained them with boiled 
cod and parched corn, and traded with them, ex 
changing what furs they were possessed of for other 
articles. They engaged the Indians to plant extra 
corn the next spring, promising to be their pur 
chasers the following year. The Indians spoke of 
two rivers within the bay, the one whereof (doubt 
less the Neponset), says Winslow, we saw. They 
returned to Plymouth after an absence of four days, 
with a considerable quantity of beaver, and a good 
report of the place, wishing they had been seated 

* The oft-repeated error of the anchoring of the Plymouth shallop, in 
1621, under Copps Hill, originated with Belknap (vol. 2, p. 224). The 
relation of Winslow expressly states that the chief which they met with 
was Obbetinewat, one of Massasoit s sachems. No place in Boston 
harbor was subject to Massasoit. the Old Colony chief. This Obbetine- 
wat, whom they met, was only temporarily at Nantasket, and the pro 
bable cause of the hostility alluded to between him and the Massachu 
setts queen, was his intrusion into her premises for the purpose of catch 
ing fish. It is certain that the Pilgrims were at Squantum, and the only 
river which they saw was the Neponset. If they had gone to Copps 
Hill, they would have seen two other rivers the Charles and the 



Thompson s Visit to Dorchester, and settlement on the Island afterwards 
called by his name. The Neponset Tribe of Indians. 

THE next European known to have visited the 
Dorchester shore was Mr. David Thompson, styled, 
in the patent to Robert Gorges, gentleman.* He 
had been sent to New England by Mason, Gorges, 
and the other grantees of the Laconia patent, in the 
spring of 1623, to superintend a trading establish 
ment which they were making at Piscataqua (Ports 
mouth). J* The Plymouth colony, suffering severely 
that season for want of corn, sent Capt. Standish 
over to Piscataqua for the purpose of procuring a 
supply. Thompson, having been appointed by the 
New England Company their agent, accompanied 
him back to Plymouth, J where he was to meet 
Robert Gorges, to give him possession of a large 
grant of territory previously made on the north 
shore about Chelsea and Lynn. Gorges and Thomp 
son went by land to Wessagusset (Weymouth), and 
thence to Gorges s grant, and it was on this occasion 
that Thompson became familiar with the localities 
of Boston harbor. He continued his position at 
Piscataqua, engaged in the business of his employ 
ers, until 1626. At this time he left the service of 
the Laconia patentees and set up for himself, for 

* Hazard, vol. 1, p. 154. 

I Levett s Voyage, Mass. His. Col. vol. 28, p. 164; also Prince, p. 133. 

$ Winslow s relation, Young s Pilgrims. 

j Prince s Annals, p. 142. 


which purpose he selected the island known by his 
name, within the limits of Dorchester,* and also the 
neighboring peninsula of Squantum, as a suitable 
location for his business of dealing in furs and fish. 
The easy access to the sea, fine anchorage, and the 
proximity to the Neponset Indians, then noted trap 
pers, doubtless caused the selection of this spot. 
This vicinity was also regarded by Smith as the 
probable site of the future capital of New England, 
he having, on his map, placed the city of London 
upon the Massachusetts fields in this neighborhood. 
Thompson moved to the island in 1626,| and in ad 
dition to his own business there, was concerned with 
Winslow and other Plymouth people in carrying on 
a trading house at Kennebeck. He thus became 
the first recorded permanent white resident of Boston 
harbor (Western and Wollaston were too transient 
to deserve that appellation), there being no evidence 
of the presence of Blackstone, Walfourd or Ma 
verick till after this date; indeed, it is stated that 
Maverick was indebted to Thompson for assistance 
in establishing himself at Noddle s Island. Thomp 
son probably left the country shortly before the ar 
rival of the Dorchester settlers, as no mention is 
made of his presence after that event. Nearly 

* Maverick s deposition. Blake s Annals. 

f We have seen the testimony of William Trevour, William Blaxston, 
Miles Standish, and the Sagamore of Agawam, that Thompson was on 
this island in 1619. but doubt whether he made it his residence previ 
ous to 1626, although he probably had claimed it before. The testimony 
of Blaxston and the Sagamore of Agawam prove conclusively that there 
never was a mill there, as has been supposed, but that what has been 
called the Mill Pond and the outlet thereof, was called by the former 
" a harbour for a boat," and by the latter a " small riuer. ; (See review 
of Young s " Chronicles of Massachusetts," in Boston Courier of August 
26th and September 16th, byJ. Wingate Thornton, Esq.) 


twenty years afterwards, 1648, his son, John Thomp 
son, appeared, and obtained a title to the island from 
the General Court, in right of the former possession 
of his father. 

Although Thompson was the only European re 
siding at Dorchester before the settlement of the 
Bay in 1630, of sufficient importance to have passed 
his name to posterity, it is nearly certain that others 
of less note were contemporaneous occupants of that 
soil with him. Ilubbard says, " the scattering 
inhabitants that had seated themselves at Dor 
chester, for conveniency of trade, before the coming 
of the Governor and Assistants, being removed else 
where, left that place free for them that came to 
plant the gospel there." * Prince, taken from 
Johnson, speaking of the old settlers, says, " near 
Thompson s island lived some few planters more ; 
these were the first planters of those parts, having 
some small trade with the natives for beaver skins, 
which moved them to make their abode in those 
places, and are found of some help to the new 
colony. (" Again, Hutchinson, speaking of the 
coming of Gov. Winthrop and Assistants, says, they 
found a few families scattered about the Bay ; there 
were " several families at Mattapan, J since called 
Dorchester, or rather Dorchester neck." Who these 
old planters were, or how long they occupied their 
position, must now be left entirely to conjecture. It 
is probable that the numerous ships which carried 
on the fisheries on the New England coast, from the 

* Hubbard, p. 186. f Prince, p. 242, 

I See Hutchinson, vol. 1, p. 22. 


western parts of England, may have landed persons, 
intent on trade, at different places on the shores of 
Maine and Massachusetts, and we learn both from 
Smith and Winslow that the attractions of Massa 
chusetts were well known at an early period.* 

The Neponset tribe of Indians, inhabiting the 
Dorchester territory, may properly be regarded as 
the residuary legatees of a much larger and more 
important Indian nation, viz., the Massachusetts In 
dians, said to have occupied formerly the circle which 
now makes Boston harbor, extending from Maiden 
round to Cohasset, which Smith calls the paradise 
of these parts,*)* and to which was especially appro 
priated the name of Massachusetts. At the time of 
the arrival of the Dorchester settlers (1630), Chicka- 
tabot was the chief of this tribe, whom Dudley, 
writing in March, 1631,J represents as living near 
to the Massachusetts fields (Squantum farms), and 
the same place is fixed by Wood on his map, drawn 
in 1633, as his residence. This sachem was regarded 
by Gov. Winthrop and the early settlers generally 
as the most important chief about the bay, and the 
assurances of friendship made by him prevented the 

* The sudden disappearance of Thompson and other old settlers in 
his vicinity was probably occasioned by the following cause. They 
were dealers in beaver, martin and musquash furs, arid other peltry, col 
lected by the Indians in this vicinity to a large amount. Soon after the 
charter, at a general court of the Massachusetts Company, holden in 
London, Oct. 15, 1629, it was voted that the Company shall have the 
trade of beaver and all other furs in those parts solely for the term of 
seven years from this day. This order, interfering with individual en 
terprise, doubtless took away the occupation from the old settlers, who 
forthwith betook themselves to some other locality. Oldham see 
Young, p. 148. 

f Mass. His. Col. vol. 6, 3d series, p. 118. $ Young s Mass. p. 305. 


government from fortifying the peninsula of Boston. 
In their anxious desire to extinguish the Indian title 
to the lands, they sought deeds from this chief, and 
forty years after their arrival (1666), the Dorchester 
people procured a deed of release of their territory 
from Josias, the son of Chickatabot. The towns of 
Boston, Hingham, and several others, took the same 
precaution. After the arrival of the Europeans, the 
condition of this tribe, already reduced to less than 
100 men, was by no means improved. They made 
little or no progress in the arts of civilized life, and 
they soon lost much of the energy which their for 
mer pursuits imparted. Chickatabot died of the 
small pox in 1633, leaving a family of small children, 
one of whom at a proper age was to succeed him ; 
but long before that period arrived, the office of 
chief was merely nominal, and the control of Indian 
affairs was placed in the hands of the colonial 
government. Cutshumaquin, brother of Chickatabot 
(see Gookin), was elected his successor, probably 
only till the eldest son of the latter should arrive at 
the proper age. This chief (Cutshumaquin) appears 
to have been a mere tool in the hands of the colonial 
government, used for the purpose of deeding away 
Indian lands, and acting as a spy upon the move 
ments of neighboring Indians. He accompanied 
the colonial commissioners to Narraganset as inter 
preter and assistant. It is certain that whatever 
may have been the former number and import 
ance of the Massachusetts Indians, before their 
destruction by the pestilence of 1618, our forefathers 
found them few in numbers, depressed in spirits, 


and for the most part exceedingly tractable. They 
appeared migratory in their habits ; living in the 
spring at the falls of the river to catch fish, and at 
planting time near certain locations easily tilled for 
raising corn, and near the sea for salt water fishing. 
Much interest was felt for them by the early settlers, 
and great efforts were made by the Dorchester people 
to civilize and convert them to Christianity ; a duty 
which they certainly owed, as the main ground upon 
which the first charter was obtained " was the desire 
to propagate the Christian religion to such as live 
in darkness, and to bring savages to human civility." 
The Indians had but little use for land. They attach 
ed but a trifling value to it, and parted with it with 
out reluctance. The plain on the south side of Ne- 
ponset, near Squantum, called the Massachusetts 
fields, had long been used for raising corn by the In 
dians. It was free from trees and shrubbery, and was 
soon selected by the Dorchester settlers for cultiva 
tion. The Court granted to Mr. Ludlow, in Novem 
ber, 1632, 100 acres of land, lying between Squantum 
chapel and the mouth of Neponset.* This land must 
have been very near the residence of Chickatabot, and 
the grant was made before his death. Soon after that 
event, there were many grants of lots by the town of 
Dorchester in this locality to different inhabitants. 
The chief whose grave was visited by the Pilgrims 
from Plymouth in 1621, was Nanepashemet, prede 
cessor of Chickatabot, whose principal residence was 

* " There is 100 acres of land granted to Mr. Roger Ludlow to inioy 
to him and his heires forever, lying between Musquantura chappell and 
the mouth of Naporisett." 


supposed to have been on the south side of the river, 
near the head of tide waters. After the death of 
Chickatabot, the tribe, under Cutshumaquin, seems 
to have confined itself to a residence near Dorchester 
lower falls, where John Eliot preached to them in 
1646. Mr. Eliot became convinced that a position 
more retired from the whites would better promote 
their interests, spiritual and temporal, than the imme 
diate proximity to an increasing settlement of Euro 
peans, and solicited the co-operation of the principal 
inhabitants of Dorchester to further their removal. 
In 1656, the town granted 6000 acres of land to 
them, which was laid out at Punkapog, whither they 
removed about that time, and there the lapse of 
years has nearly extinguished their lamp.* 


Emigration in 1630. Mr. John White. Arrival of the Dorchester 


AMONG the mass of emigrants who landed upon 
the shores of Massachusetts, from all parts of Eng 
land, in 1630, the first settlers of Dorchester may be 

* " The names of the different tribes in the State are as follows : 
Chappequiddic, Christiantown, Gay Head, Fall River or Troy, Marsh- 
pee, Herring Pond, Grafton or Hapauamisco, Dudley, Punkapog, Natick, 
and Yarmouth. The whole number of Indians, and people of color 
connected with them, not including Natick, is 847. There are but six 
or eight Indians of pure blood in the State ; one or two at Gay Head, one 
at Punkapog, and three, perhaps four, at Marshpee. All the rest are of 
mixed blood; most of Indian and African." lieport of the Commission 
ers relating to the Condition of the Indians 1849. 



regarded as the special delegation of the western 
counties, the home of Raleigh, Gilbert, Popham and 
Gorges, that region which had almost monopolized 
the intercourse with the northern part of the Ame 
rican continent from its first discovery by Cabot in 
1497, until the settlement of the Bay, 133 years af 
terwards. The people of Bristol, Plymouth, Poole, 
Weymouth, and the towns of Exeter and Dorches 
ter, were familiar with the New England fisheries 
and fur trade years before the settlement of the Bay. 
Indeed, the first patent granted by King James, 1(K)G, 
of the northern portion of the American continent, 
between 35 and 48 degrees of latitude, was given to 
certain persons in the western counties, under the 
corporate name of the Plymouth Council. Chris 
topher Levett, the companion of Robert Gorges, 
writing, in 1() 23, says. " for matter of profit, the Xew 
England fishery is well known to all the merchants 
of the west country, who have left almost all other 
trade but this, and have grown rich thereby." Smith 
says, in 1623, " there went this year 45 sail from the 
west ports to Xew England, and made good voyages." 
The Rev. John White, of Dorchester,* emphatically 
the prime originator of the movement which resulted 
in the Massachusetts charter, and the settlement of 
the Bay, found therefore but little difficulty in col 
lecting a company, among a population to whom the 
Xew England coast was not an unknown region, 
and who naturally turned their thoughts to the 

* Mr. White is said to have been the author of the Address presented 
r>v Winthrop and others to the brethren of the Church of England. See 
Prince, p. 205. 


shores already familiar to them, when the edicts of 
the star chamber and the despotism of the hierarchy 
first suggested the idea of emigration. Mr. White 
was the rector of Trinity parish, Dorchester, in Dor 
setshire ; and though he had not renounced the epis 
copal form of worship at the time of the pilgrimage 
to Plymouth, in 1620, he sympathized strongly with 
that movement, and actually assisted the undertaking 
by pecuniary aid, his name being the first on the 
list of adventurers in that expedition. His residence 
at Dorchester also brought him into daily contact 
with the persons engaged in the New England fish 
eries, and in 1623 he joined an association of ad 
venturers in his neighborhood, who raised 3000 
sterling, for the purpose of making a settlement on 
the shores of New England. His motives were pro 
bably different from those of his associates, who doubt 
less had purposes of business in view ; but, in the 
language of Bancroft, " Mr. White breathed into the 
enterprise a higher principle than the desire of gain." 
He had for some years cherished the thought of 
forming a community in New England, where all 
who felt themselves aggrieved by religious or politi 
cal persecution might find an asylum. This associa 
tion sent several vessels into the Bay in 1624, and 
landed some 30 or 40 men at Cape Ann, the place 
selected for the settlement. This plantation was 
continued about two years, when misconduct among 
the people and great pecuniary loss to the under 
takers, discouraged them, and Mr. Roger Conant, 
superintendent of the enterprise, with a few of the 
remaining settlers, removed to Salem, with the rem- 


nant of their effects, in 1626. At this crisis, Mr. 
White, apprehending the entire destruction of his 
project, urged Conant to remain, promising speedy 
assistance and new recruits. In the spring of 1628, 
we find that certain gentlemen of Dorsetshire, doubt 
less the friends and neighbors of Mr. White, had 
negotiated with the Plymouth Council a purchase 
of the whole territory between the Merrimac and 
Charles rivers. A part of these purchasers, how 
ever, soon became doubtful of the enterprise, and 
Mr. White succeeded in enlisting the support of sun 
dry gentlemen of influence in London Sir Richard 
Saltonstall, Isaac Johnson, Matthew Cradock and 
others writing to Conant, at the same time, that he 
had the promise of further aid from friends in Lin 
colnshire. The association being completed, and one 
of the Dorchester grantees, John Endicott, consent 
ing to embark as supervisor of the enterprise, a ves 
sel was despatched for New England, and arrived at 
Salem in September, 1628. On the 4th of March, 
1629, the Massachusetts charter, granted on the pe 
tition of this company, received the great seal, and 
early in May following three ships sailed from the 
Isle of Wight, for Salem, with 300 passengers, ac 
companied by two ministers, Messrs. Higginson and 
Skilton, both of whom had been selected for the 
undertaking by Mr. White. They all arrived in 
safety before the end of June. Most of them came 
from the channel ports, and one of the ships, the 
" Lyon s Whelp," was entirely taken up by passen 
gers from Weymouth and Dorchester. 

No sooner was the Salem fleet despatched, than 


Mr. White, ever active in furthering his favorite 
project, immediately began to assemble a new com 
pany in the western counties. He wrote to Gov. 
Endicott, in the summer of 1629, to appoint places 
of habitation for 60 families out of Dorsetshire, which 
were to arrive in the following spring. Great pains 
were evidently taken to construct this company of 
such materials as should compose a well-ordered set 
tlement, containing all the elements of an independ 
ent community. Two devoted ministers, Messrs. 
Maverick and Warham, were selected, not only with 
a view to the spiritual welfare of the plantation, but 
especially that their efforts might bring the Indians 
to the knowledge of the gospel. Two members of 
the government, chosen by the freemen or stock 
holders of the company in London, Assistants or 
Directors, Messrs. Rosseter and Ludlow, men of 
character and education, were joined to the associa 
tion, that their counsel and judgment might aid in 
preserving order and founding the social structure 
upon the surest basis. Several gentlemen, past mid 
dle life, with adult families and good estates, were 
added. Henry Wolcott, Thomas Ford, George Dyer, 
William Gaylord, William Rockwell, and William 
Phelps, were of this class. But a large portion of 
active, well-trained young men, either just married, 
or without families, such as Israel Stoughton, Roger 
Clap, George Minot, George Hall, Richard Collicott, 
Nathaniel Duncan, and many others of their age, 
were the persons upon whom the more severe toils 
of a new settlement were expected to devolve. 
Three persons of some military experience viz., 


Capt. John Mason, Capt. Richard Southcote, and 
Quarter Master John Smith were selected as a suit 
able appendage, as forcible resistance from the In 
dians might render the skill and discipline which 
these gentlemen had acquired, under De Yere, in the 
campaign of the Palatinate, on the continent, an ele 
ment of safety essential to the enterprise. This com 
pany assembled at Plymouth, Devonshire, where a 
large ship of 400 tons, the Mary and John, Capt. 
Squeb, chartered for the voyage, was fitted out. She 
was destined for Charles river, the spot doubtless 
pointed out for the company by Gov. Endicott, who 
had sent thither two Dorsetshire men, Ralph and 
Richard Sprague, to explore the country, the year be 
fore. Roger Clap informs us that this godly company 
assembled with their two ministers in the new hospi 
tal at Plymouth, and kept a solemn day of fasting 
and prayer, at which Mr. White was present and 
preached in the forenoon, and in the latter part of 
the day the people did solemnly make choice of 
those godly ministers, Messrs. Maverick and War- 
ham, to be their officers, " who did accept thereof and 
express the same." Both these gentlemen had for 
merly been ordained by bishops, and though now 
thorough non-conformists, no re-ordination was 
deemed necessary. Mr. Clap mentions, that after a 
passage of 70 days, the ship arrived at Nantasket, 
May 30th, 1630, and that the word of God was 
preached and expounded every day during the voy 
age. The number of passengers was 140. The 
dispute with Capt. Squeb, mentioned by Mr. Clap, 
and also referred to by Gov. Winthrop, was occasioned 


by the company being put ashore at Nantasket. 
The Mary and John was the first ship, of the fleet 
of 1630, that arrived in the bay. At that time there 
were surely no pilots for ships to be found, and the 
refusal of the captain to attempt the passage without 
pilot or chart does not seem unreasonable, though 
Clap has sent the captain s name to posterity as " a 
merciless man," who Trumbull says was afterwards 
obliged to pay damages for this conduct. 

A portion of the male passengers, ten in number, 
under command of Capt. Southcote, procured a boat, 
left the ship at Nantasket, and went in quest of the 
promised land. They felt their way through the 
islands, and reached the peninsula at Charlestown, 
where some Indians had their wigwams, and found 
one European, probably Thomas Walfourd, living in 
a thatched house. After dining with the latter 
upon a bit of fish without bread, they passed up 
Charles river to Watertown, and landed with their 
baggage for the night, probably near the present 
arsenal, keeping watch on account of the vicinity of 
Indians. They had a friendly interview with them 
the next day, through the medium of an old planter 
who accompanied them from Charlestown. After 
staying two or three days in a camp at Watertown ? 
they received an express from the ship, ordering 
their return, learning that other portions of the 
company had found a convenient place at Mattapan, 
where pasturing for their famished cattle could be 
had. The Mary and John still lay at Nantasket. 
Mr. Ludlow and Mr. Rosseter, with the other pas 
sengers, had come up to Mattapan and were subjected 


to much expense and trouble to get their cattle and 
baggage landed. Tradition has always fixed upon 
the south side of Dorchester Neck (South Boston), in 
Old Harbor, as the place of landing. 

On the 14th of June, a fortnight after their arrival, 
Gov. Winthrop and his companions arrived at Sa 
lem, and three days afterwards visited the Dorchester 
Company at Mattapan. On his return to Salem, at 
the request of the Dorchester people, Gov. Win 
throp took the Nantasket passage, and stopped to 
arrange the differences between Squeb and his 


Mattapan selected by the Dorchester Company. The Town laid out 
and House Lots distributed. Portions appropriated for Cultivation. 
The Trade of Fishing. 

OUR company were doubtless attracted by the 
salt marshes about Old Harbor, which afforded 
immediate sustenance for their starving cattle, still 
intending to make their permanent settlement on 
the Charles river. The long sea passage had left 
many in feeble health, and it is probable that the 
scurvy prevailed to some extent among them, as 
Dr. Fuller, of Plymouth, writes to Gov. Bradford, 
June 28, 1630 "I have been to Mattapan at the 
request of Mr. Warham, and let some twenty of 
these people blood," adding, " I had a conference with 
them until I was weary " (doubtless a theological 


debate). During the summer, their investigations 
induced the company to relinquish the Charles river 
project entirely, and to establish their permanent 
settlement in the vicinity of their first encampment. 
For purposes of mutual defence and the establish 
ment of social order, the Court held in London, 
May 21, 1629, contemplated that the settlements 
must be very compact, and that a certain plot or pale 
should be marked out, within which every one should 
build his house, and a half acre is named as the size 
of a house lot within the pale. This arrangement is 
recognized in the Dorchester records, and as late as 
September, 1635, the General Court ordered that no 
dwelling house be built more than half a mile from 
the meeting-house without leave. The spot select 
ed for the town, was doubtless upon Allen s plain, 
south of Old Harbor, and extending far enough to 
include Rock Hill, but the limits of the pale are 
not now known. The growth of the settlement and 
entire subjection of the neighboring Indians, in a 
few years rendered these regulations needless, and 
left the inhabitants free to exercise their own discre 
tion in selecting their residences. 

As we learn from Dr. Fuller, June 28, 16f30, that 
the Dorchester Company still entertained their origi 
nal design of settling on the Charles river, a month 
after landing at Mattapan, they had of course made no 
arrangements for future supplies of food by planting 
corn or other vegetables the first year, and Roger 
Clap informs us that bread was very scarce and that 
plenty in their dwellings applied only to the article 
of fish. Gov. Winthrop, anticipating the scarcity 


which was evidently approaching, chartered the ship 
Lyon, Capt. Pierce, to go to Ireland for provisions 
early in July, 1630 ; and Clap says he wrote imme 
diately to his father to send him food, who relieved 
him as soon as possible ; and the same course was 
doubtless pursued by others. Much sickness pre 
vailed in Dorchester, Salem, and Charlestown, caused 
by long voyages, bad shelter, and poor provisions, 
and a public fast was holden in these three settle 
ments, July 30th, on this account. It is probable 
that by midsummer the Dorchester people had de 
termined the question of their future residence. 

This point settled, they set themselves about lay 
ing out their town-plot and distributing the lots 
according to direction of the General Court, pre 
scribed in London. The first settlers found the 
country unoccupied, and were at liberty to make such 
selection as pleased them, subject to certain limita 
tions as to individual grants, pointed out by the 
proceedings of the General Court. The Court Re 
cord makes no mention of any especial grant of 
Mattapan and the present territory of the town of 
Dorchester to the West Country settlers, though 
they doubtless had the sanction of the Court of 
Assistants, which authorized the use of their corpo 
rate name on the 7th of September ; and the loss of 
the early leaves of the town records, renders the 
precise date of the first grants of land uncertain. 
They were made by a committee of the plantation, 
viz., the two ministers, Maverick and Warham, and 
the two deacons, Gaylord and Rockwell. 

After choosing the spot for their town, they de- 


sired to secure the best sites for cultivation, giving 
the preference to places which had been cleared for 
planting by the Indians, and attaching great value to 
the salt marshes, as furnishing an immediate supply 
of hay. They were unaccustomed to the process of 
clearing land, so familiar to the American settler of 
the present day. The oldest allotment of land upon 
the Dorchester Records, was made of salt marsh, 
April 3d, 1633, among twenty-one persons, divided 
into four classes (according to their interest in the 
stock). Mr. Ludlow had before this, November, 
1632, obtained a grant of one hundred acres of the 
Court, south of Neponset. They probably took a 
release of the territory from Chickatabot ; but if so, 
the deed was lost, and they procured another from 
his son Josias, many years afterwards. A 50 share 
entitled the holder to an immediate dividend of two 
hundred acres and a town house-lot, and fifty acres 
for each member of the family besides non-stock 
holders to have fifty acres for the head of the family, 
and such quantity of land, according to their charge 
and quality, as the Governor and Council shall see 
fit ; for each servant transported, fifty acres to be 
allotted to the master.* They had abundant occu 
pation in collecting building materials, erecting their 
houses, gathering fodder for cattle for the approach 
ing winter, and employing a considerable number of 
hands in fishing. Wood, who wrote in 1633, says 
" the inhabitants of Dorchester were the first that set 
upon the trade of fishing in the bay, who received 

* Hazard, vol. 1, p. 275. 


so much fruit of their lahors, that they encouraged 
others to the same undertakings." The business of 
fishing was familiar to Dorchester people in England. 
The company sent down from London to that town 
and engaged six fishermen to go out to Salem in the 
Lion s Whelp, in 1629,* and there were doubtless 
other fishermen from the same place in the Mary 
and John. 

At the first Court of Assistants, held August 
23d, 1630, at Charlestown, the order for provid 
ing one half the support of the ministers from 
the public treasury, passed the previous October, in 
London, was discussed, and Salem and Mattapan 
were excepted from this provision, because they had 
already provided for theirs. The Dorchester church 
had been organized at Plymouth before their em 
barkation, and the ministers settled independent of 
government aid ; this circumstance conferred upon 
the Dorchester Company the honors of seniority 
over the other towns in Suffolk County. Prince 
says, in all civil assemblies, or military musters, 
Dorchester used to have the precedency. f Dorches 
ter, Boston and Watertown, received the authority 
of the Court, September 7, 1630, to use those names, 
but no corporate powers are specified. 

* Prince, p. 208. f Hazard, vol. 1 3 p. 264. 



Boundaries of the Town. Freemen and their Privileges. Return of 
Emigrant*. The Dorchester Record Book. Orders relating to Meet 
ings of the Plantation. 

Tin: exact geographical limits of the Dorchester 
plantation were not determined till some time after 
its partial occupancy by the first settlers. Dr. Har 
ris states that the Dorchester Company bought a 
tract from lloxbury Brook to Nepoiiset, but lie does 
not quote the authority for this assertion. 

The first allusion to the Dorchester boundaries 
upon the Court Records, is found under date of 1632.* 
In March, 1634-5, the difference between Dor 
chester and Boston about Mount Wollaston bounds, 
is referred to Lieut. Heakes, Mr. Talcott and Mr. 
John Woolridge, to be accompanied by Ensign 
Gibbcns and William Phelps ; all other persons pro 
hibited from being present. This dispute was caused 
by a grant made by the Court in September, 1634, 
of land at Mount Wollaston to the town of Boston, 
some of the inhabitants of that place desiring to 
lay out farms and occupy a portion of the plains 
which Messrs. Rosseter, Ludlow, Newberry, and 
others of Dorchester, had already partially taken up 
for the same purpose. In September, 1635, Heakes 
and Talcott made a report, which was accepted, 
establishing the south line of the town on the sea, 

* " Committee abt Dorchester bounds, 1632. Capt. Trask, Mr. Conant, 
William Cheesebrough and John Perkins are appointed to sett doxvne 
the bounds betwixt Dorchester and Rocksbury. Ralphe Sprage is cho 
sen Vnipire." General Court Records. 



at some point in Quincy Bay, south of Squantum, 
giving a considerable portion of upland and all the 
salt marsh on the south bank of Neponset to the 
town of Dorchester an extent of ten miles of shore, 
including near the whole south-west side of the 
harbor. In 1636, Dorchester received a grant from 
the Court, of all the land south of Neponset to the 
Blue Hills, the territory then known as Unquety, 
(now Milton), and the town took at the same time 
a deed of Kitchmakin of this territory.* 

The population was at first so entirely dispropor 
tionate to the territory, that the question of bound 
aries seems not to have arisen immediately. The 
rule for the division of lands among individuals, 
adopted by the Company in England, and the order 
for compact settlements, rendered any action about 
the boundaries of plantations unnecessary, until the 
precise form of municipal government was deter 
mined upon, and adjoining settlements began to 
interfere with each other. The Dorchester planta 
tion being, from the beginning, provided with a 
church organization and ministers, the territorial 
jurisdiction of their church was doubtless their first 

In 1637, another very extensive grant, called the 
New Grant, was made to Dorchester by the Court, 
including all the land not previously granted, lying 
between the Old Colony line and a grant made to 
Dedham. This space covers the present towns of 
Canton, Stoughton, Sharon and Foxboro . 

* See Town Records. 


The Massachusetts Charter being drafted for a 
trading company, rather than as the basis of an 
independent government, its provisions applied only 
to the stockholders, to which class only three of the 
Dorchester Company, viz., Edward Rosseter, Roger 
Ludlow, and John Glover, are known to have be 
longed. Henry Wolcott and T. Newberry were 
probably stockholders. The principal part of the 
first settlers having no political rights under the 
instrument, the Court immediately made arrange 
ments for extending the privileges of freemanship to 
all suitable persons, and on the first application for 
this right (October 19, 1630), among one hundred 
and eight persons, twenty-four belonged to Dorches 
ter. Besides the right of suffrage, freemen enjoyed 
advantages in the division of the lands ; and before 
the representative system commenced, they were all 
members of the General Court. The principal 
qualification for this privilege seems to have been 
church membership. The names of the first twenty- 
four Dorchester freemen, were John Greenoway, 
Christopher Gibson, John Benham, Mr. Thomas 
Southcote, Mr. Richard Southcote, Mr. John Mav 
erick, Mr. John Warham, Henry Wolcott, Thomas 
Stoughton, William Phelps, George Dyer, John 
Hoskins, Thomas Ford, Nicolas Upsall, Stephen 
Terry, Roger Williams, John Woolridge, Thomas 
Lumberd, Bigot Eggleston, Mr. Ralph Glover, John 
Phillips, William Gallard, William Rockwell, and 
William Hubbert. 

Prince* mentions that many of the early settlers 

* Prince s Annals, p. 246. 


of Massachusetts returned to England, and this was 
the case with some of the Dorchester settlers, the 
Southcotes and others ; hut continual accessions 
were made to the plantation by arrivals from Eu 
rope for several years. Winthrop mentions (July 
24, 1633) that a ship arrived from Weymouth with 
eighty passengers and twelve kine, who sat down 
at Dorchester. Much pains were taken to scruti 
nize the character and morals of all persons offering 
for emigration to Massachusetts in England, and 
such as arrived here without proper testimonials 
were not received. * Many of the early inhabitants 
of Dorchester being natives of the channel ports, 
were accustomed to the sea, and employed them 
selves in fishing in the bay and coasting on the 
shores of Maine in pursuit of furs. Ilutchinson 
mentions a shallop belonging to Mr. Glover, cast 
away at Nahant, in February, 1631; and again, that 
five men, belonging to a Dorchester shallop, were 
murdered by Indians on the coast of Maine, in 1632. 
Several of the principal inhabitants were men of capi 
tal, who devoted their energies to commerce, and 
when the decided advantages for trade of the pre 
sent metropolis became apparent, in 1642-3, re 
moved thither. 

The following is Wood s description of Dorchester 
in 1633. 

" Dorchester is the greatest town in New Eng 
land, but I am informed that others equal it since 
I came away ; well wooded and watered, very good 

* See Winthrop, p. 38. 


arable grounds and hay ground ; fair corn-fields 
and pleasant gardens, with kitchen gardens. In 
this plantation is a great many cattle, as kine, 
goats, and swine. This plantation hath a reasonable 
harbour for ships. Here is no alewife river, which 
is a great inconvenience. The inhabitants of this 
town were the first that set upon fishing in the bay, 
who received so much fruit of their labours, that 
they encouraged others to the same undertakings." 
The following is Josselyn s description of the town: 
" Six miles beyond Braintree lyeth Dorchester, 
a frontire Town pleasantly seated, and of large extent 
into the main land, well watered with two small 
Rivers, her body and wings filled somewhat thick 
with houses to the number of two hundred and 
more, beautified with fair Orchards and Gardens, 
having also plenty of Corn-land, and store of Cattle, 
counted the greatest Town heretofore in New Eng 
land, but now gives way to Boston ; it hath a Har 
bour to the North for ships." 

The first Dorchester Record Book, re-copied a few 
years since at the expense of the town, commenced 
January 16, 1632-3, and in point of time takes pre 
cedence of any town records in Massachusetts. It 
contains the transactions of the plantation and town, 
from the date above named to 1720. The two miss 
ing leaves at the beginning, traced, probably, the pro 
ceedings from the commencement of the settlement. 
A very large part of this book, containing six hun 
dred and thirty-six pages, is devoted to grants of 
land, regulations for fences, the care of cattle, laying 
out of highways, and other kindred matters. Sub- 


jects casually introduced of a general historical 
interest are very few and excessively meagre. Be 
fore the year 1636, the entries vrere probably made 
by one of the clergymen or deacons. In 1636, one 
of the twelve selectmen or townsmen, Nathaniel 
Duncan, was voted ten shillings, for copying the or 
ders of the town, and he probably continued to per 
form this office until his removal to Boston in 1645. 
From this period to 1656, there are evidences of en 
tries made by Robert Howard, Dea. John Wiswall, 
and Edward Brick, Selectmen of the Town. In 1656, 
, William Blake was chosen Recorder or Town Clerk, 
and from that period the records were kept by a 
person chosen for that purpose. Frequent allusion 
is made to a book, containing a plot of the town, 
with lots, and the names of grantees from the begin 
ning, probably a registry of deeds. Dr. Harris 
states it to have been accidentally burnt in 1657. It 
is however stated that a copy of this plot and the 
names of the grantees, made by that excellent drafts 
man, James Blake, has existed within the memory 
of persons now living. If it should be found, it will 
be of great interest to the present generation. 

The rule first adopted for the division of lands in 
Dorchester, was probably recorded on the missing 
pages, and cannot now be accurately determined. 
The pecuniary condition of persons, the size of fami 
lies, and other circumstances, may be supposed to 
have had their influence in determining the differ 
ence in the quantity granted to individuals. A few of 
the larger grantees are known to have been stockhold 
ers in England under the patent. The whole face 


of the territory subject to their control was early 
surveyed ; the salt marsh, fresh meadows, arable lands, 
&c., were divided into lots, and a portion of each, 
suitable to the wants and condition of the individual, 
was allotted him. There is no mention made of pay 
ment for lands to the plantation by any individual. 
They were doubtless regarded as the inheritance of 
such persons as intended to occupy them and remain 
permanent inhabitants. Lands allotted to persons 
who shortly left, appear to have been granted to 
others by the plantation ; all speculation was thus 
prevented. In November, 1634, it was ordered that 
" no man shall sell his house or lot to any man with 
out the plantation, whom they shall dislike of." 
This and many other orders show the great anxiety 
felt by the first settlers to control the question of 
membership of their community, a feeling which 
continued to manifest itself for many years. 

The affairs of the plantation were at first con 
trolled by the clergymen, aided by the advice of the 
Magistrates Ludlow and Ilosseter, until the spring 
of 1631, when a considerable number of the inhabi 
tants had become freemen ; and in May, of that year, 
a meeting of the plantation took place (referred to 
in subsequent records) to make and confirm orders 
for the control of their affairs. Previous to Oc 
tober, 1633, every order was voted upon by ,the 
freemen, and no special town government was or 
ganized except the appointment of a committee to 
sign land grants, consisting of the two clergymen 
and deacons. 

In October, 1633, the following order passed, 


establishing the form of town goverment. This act 
acquires some importance from the fact of its pre 
cedence, and that the example was followed the next 
year by the other settlements, and led to- the law of 
the General Court, passed in 1636, regulating town 
governments, which has continued in force to the 
present day. 

" MONDAY, OCT. 8, 1633. Imprimis It is order 
ed that for the general good and well ordering of the 
affairs of the plantation, there shall be every Mon 
day before the Court, by 8 o clock A. M., and pre 
sently by the beating of the drum, a general meeting 
of the inhabitants of the plantation at the meeting 
house, there to settle and set down such orders as 
may tend to the general good as aforesaid, and every 
man to be bound thereby, without gainsaying or re 
sistance. It is also agreed that there shall be twelve 
men selected out of the company, that may, or the 
greatest part of them, meet as aforesaid to determine 
as aforesaid ; yet so far as it is desired that the most 
of the plantation will keep the meeting constantly, 
and all that are there, though not of the tw r elve, 
shall have a free voice as any of the twelve, and 
that the greater vote both of the twelve and the 
other shall be of force and efficacy as aforesaid. 
And it is likewise ordered, that all things concluded 
as aforesaid shall stand in force and be obeyed until 
the next monthly meeting, and afterwards if it be 
not contradicted and otherwise ordered at said 
monthly meeting by the greatest vote of those that 
are present as aforesaid." 

The names of only seven persons thus selected, 


arc recorded: Mr. Johnson, Mr. Pomeroy, Mr. 
Richards, John Pierce, George Hull, William Phelps, 
Thomas Ford. 


Erection of first Meeting-House. Building of Stoughton s Mill. New 
Burying Ground commenced. Controversy about removing to Con 

THE first meeting-house erected in Dorchester, 
and the first in the Bay, was built on Allen s Plain, 
near the corner of Pleasant and Cottage streets, in 
1631, and the first settlers of Roxbury united them 
selves with the Dorchester church and worshipped 
here with them.* Mr. Warliam held a lecture here 
on the fourth day of every week, by an understand 
ing with the other plantations. j~ This building was 
made a depot for military stores, and before the 
apprehension of attack from Indians subsided, w T as 
palisadoed and guarded at night. TVmthrop men 
tions that on the 19th March, 1632, Mr. Maverick 
accidentally set fire to a small barrel containing two 
or three pounds of powder, in the new meeting-house 
at Dorchester, which was thatched, and the thatch 
only blackened a little. The meetings of the in 
habitants of the plantation were held in this build 
ing. It continued to serve the plantation for the first 
fifteen years of the settlement. 

March 3, 1633. The town granted leave to Mr. 

* Prince, 2, 64. | Winthrop, p. 144. 


Israel Stoughton to build a water mill, and in Jan 
uary following, the mill and a bridge over Neponset 
being completed, the privilege of erecting a fish 
wear was voted to Mr. Stoughton, he agreeing to 
sell alewives to the plantation at five shillings per 
thousand, and to give the inhabitants the preference 
in selling all fish taken. Stoughton agrees not to 
sell the mill without consent of the plantation. 
The General Court confirm these proceedings in 
September, 1634, upon condition of keeping in re 
pair a sufficient horse bridge over the river. 

November, 1634, Voted, that "a sufficient cart-way 
be made to the mill at Naponset at the common 
chardge, if the chardge exceed not above five pounds." 

The first General Court held by delegates, or re 
presentatives, met May, 1634, when the Dorchester 
plantation sent Israel Stoughton, William Phelps, 
and George Hull, the whole assembly consisting of 
twenty-four persons, representing eight towns. 

Arrangements for the burying ground commenced 
with the following vote, November, 1633. " Agreed 
that there be a decent burial place bounden in upon 
the knap, by Goodman Greenaway s, and that shall 
be done by the raters, and also a bier to carry the 
dead on." 

March 3, 1634, Ordered, that the new burying 
place last agreed on shall be forthwith impaled with 
double rail pale five rods square. 

The General Court voted, October 1, 1633, a tax 
of 400 ; and the assessments show the relative im 
portance of the towns at that period. The propor 
tions are to Dorchester, 80 ; Boston, Eoxbury, 


New town or Cambridge, Watertown, and Charles- 
town, 48 each ; Sagus or Lynn, 36 ; Salem, 28 ; 
Mcdford, 12. Two years after, September, 1635, 
the rates of Dorchester and Cambridge are the high 
est in the colony. 

The following chronological items are from Win- 
thro p. 

1631, Jan. A house burnt at Dorchester. 

1632, May. Dorchester men work on Boston fort. 

1632, August. Two Neponset Indians pnt in 
the bilboes for assaulting some Dorchester people in 
their houses, after w^hich Chickatabot beat them. 

1633, July 24. A ship arrived from Weymouth, 
Dorset, with about eighty passengers and twelve 
kine, who sat down at Dorchester. 

The emigration to Connecticut of a large portion 
of the first settlers of Dorchester, forms an impor 
tant crisis in the affairs of the plantation ; it deprived 
it of nearly one half of its population, including the 
tw r o ministers, Messrs. Maverick and Warham, and a 
large part of the intelligence and wealth which 
accompanied the first comers. This movement has 
been attributed to different causes, but it appears 
rather to have been produced by a concurrence of 
sundry incidents, than any one prominent motive. 
Cotton Mather, in reference to this subject, says: 
" Massachusetts soon became like a hive overstocked 
with bees, and many thought of swarming into new 
plantations." But the whole colony contained at 
this time but five or six thousand people. The Dor 
chester settlers were made acquainted with the rich 
bottom lands of the Connecticut by Hall and Old- 


ham, in 1633, and the labor of clearing their own 
rocky fields daily brought to their minds the advan 
tages possessed by the former position. A great 
quantity of valuable furs had reached the Bay from 
the River Indians, and many of the Dorchester people 
were engaged in the fur business. It was known 
that the Connecticut Patentees, Lord Brooke, Sir 
R. Saltonstall, John Hampdeii and others, were pre 
paring to take possession of their patent and make 
a settlement at the lower part of the river. This 
subject agitated the people of the Bay to such a 
degree that a public fast was appointed, September 
18, 1634. Roger Ludlow, one of the assistants and 
a leading inhabitant of Dorchester, strongly opposed 
the movement. In this state of affairs, Israel 
Stoughton, one of the first Deputies of Dorchester, 
had an altercation with Governor Winthrop, and 
published a pamphlet which occasioned his expul 
sion from the house, * and the Dorchester people 
petitioned in vain for a remission of his sentence. 
Rodger Ludlow, of Dorchester, f aimed at being- 
Go vernor of Massachusetts Colony in 1635, and 
protested openly against the choice of Governor 
Hayiies, and was in consequence left out of the 
Magistracy. It is not improbable that these wealthy 
and influential gentlemen sought a more congenial 
field for their political ambition than the Bay Colony 
presented to them at that moment. It is certain that 
Mr. Ludlow suddenly changed his views on the sub 
ject, and was actively engaged in the project in 1635, 

* See Winthrop, vol. 1, p. 155. f See Hutchinsou, vol. 1, p. 41. 


which he had with zeal opposed in 1634. The cause 
of Mr. S tough ton s secession from the undertaking 
will appear in another place. These different con 
siderations will suffice to account for the movement 
which was at first opposed by the Government, but 
in the spring of 1635 reluctantly assented to. In 
the summer of 1635, some Dorchester people had 
already reached the river and sat down at a place 
where William Holmes and others, of Plymouth, 
had erected a trading house two years before (at 
Windsor), and made preparations for bringing their 
families and settling permanently ; and in Novem 
ber, sixty persons, with a large number of cattle, 
travelled from Dorchester and arrived in safety at the 
river after much tribulation. During the first win 
ter the sufferings of these persons were intense, and 
they lost nearly all their cattle. Some individuals 
wandered back to Dorchester, and others avoided 
starvation by dropping down the river and taking 
refuge in a vessel at anchor at the mouth. In the 
spring of 1636, the settlers, with Mr. Warham, pro 
ceeded to Windsor, his colleague Mr. Maverick hav 
ing died at Boston the preceding winter. 

Every effort on the part of the Colonial Govern 
ment was made to divert the spirit of emigration so 
rife among the people. The large grants of land 
made to the Dorchester plantation, viz., the Un- 
quety Grant, in 1636, containing some six thousand 
acres ; and the year after, the so-called New Grant, 
extending almost to the Rhode Island line, were 
doubtless connected with a desire to quiet and retain 
the inhabitants. The emigration, however, did not 


cease entirely until 1637. Many persons who had 
determined to go, were detained a year or two in dis 
posing of their property. 


List of the First Settlers of the Town, 

THE following is an alphabetical list of all the 
Grantees of Dorchester lands, whose names appear 
in the Town Records previous to January, 1636, 
and comprises all the first settlers, excepting such as 
may have appeared on the missing pages (probably 
very few) and whose names were not repeated, 

John Allen Biofot Eq-gleston 

Thomas Andrews Robert Elwell 

Jno. Benharn Richard Fay 

John Bur,sU-y Thomas Ford 

Thomas Bascomb Walter Filer 

Joim Brancker Henry Feakes 

Roger Clap Joseph Flood 

Bernard Capen Stephen French 

John Capen Humphrey Gallop 

Joshua Carter William Gaylord 

Bray Clarke Christopher Gibson 

Joseph Clarke Giles Gibbs 

Augustin Clement Ralph Glover 

Richard Collicot John Glover 

John Cogan Jonathan Gillet 

Aaron Cook John Gilbert ^" - 

Nicolas Denslowe John Goite, orcroyt 

Thomas Dewey John Grenoway 

Thomas Deeble Matthew Grant 

Robert Deeble Edmund Hart 

Thomas Dimocke John Hayden 

Nathaniel Duncan Thomas Hatch 

George Dyer William Hathorne 

John Eeles Nathaniel Hall 



William Hannum 
John Hoskins 
Simon Hoyt 
William Hosford 
Joseph Holley 
Thomas Holcomb 
John Holland 
John Holman 
Mr. Jno. Hill 
John Hull 
George Hull 
William Hulbert 
Thomas Jeffrey 
Thomas Jones 
Mr. Johnson 
Richard Jones 
John Knight 

Thos. Kinnersly, or Kimberly 
Thomas Lambert 
John Leavitt 
/ Capt. William Lovell 
Roger Ludlow 
John Maverick 
Capt. John Mason 
Thomas Marshall 
John Miller 
Alexander Miller 
George Minot 
Thomas Makepeace 
Thomas Marshfield 
John Moore 
Edmund Munnings 
Mr. Newberry 
John Newton 
John Niles 
Elias Parkman 
James Parker 
William Phelps 
John Phillips 
George Phillips 
John Pierce 
Andrew Pitcher 
Eltweed Pomeroy 

Goodman Jno. Pope 
Mr. Pincheon 
William Preston 
David Price 
George Procter 
Widow Purchase 
Humphrey Pinney 
George Phelps 
Edward Raymond 
Philip Randall 
Thomas Rawlins 
Thomas Richards 
William Rockwell 
Bray Rosseter 
Hugh Rosseter 
Richard Rocket 
Thomas Sand ford 
Matthew Sension 
John Smith 
Henry Smith 
Capt. Richard Southcote 
George Strange 
Th. or Ancient Stoiighton 
Mr. Israel S tough ton 
William Sumner 
Thomas Swift 
Joshua Talbot 
Stephen Terry 
John Tilley 
Thomas Tileston 
Thomas Thornton 
Francis Tuthill 
Joshua Tuthill 
Nicolas Upsall 
John Warham 
Henry Way 
Bray Wilkins 
Roger Williams 
David Wilton 
Henry Wolcott 
Henry Wright 
John Whitfield 
John Woolridge 

Many of these persons dissolved their connec 
tion with the Dorchester plantation at this early 


period ; we have therefore collected such facts re 
garding them as have come to our knowledge, and 
place them before our readers now, in the hope that 
some of their numerous descendants, better versed 
in their history, may aid our future numbers by im 
parting to the committee such additional information 
as they possess. 

John Allen s name appears on the Town Records 
in 1634. He was probably here in 1632, and kept 
an ordinary (tavern). The Massachusetts Colony Re 
cords no doubt refer to him in the following order. 

" A Court holden at Boston, August 7, 1632. It 
is ordered that y e remainder of Mr. Allen s strong 
water, being estimated aboute two gallandes, shall 
be delivered into y e hands of the Deacons of Dor 
chester for the benefitt of the poore there, for his 
selling of it dyvrs tymes to such as were drunke by 
it, he knowing thereof." 

Thomas Andrews was here as early as 1634 ; his 
wife was Ann ; he had three acres of land granted 
him next his house, December 17, of that year. He 
died May 20, 1673. He had a son Thomas baptized 
June 23, 1639; he married Phebe Gourd; he also 
had a daughter Susanna, who married W. Hopkins 
and removed to Roxbury. There was a person of 
the same name in Hingham, but much older. 

Thomas Bascomb probably came in the Mary and 
John with the first settlers. He removed to Windsor. 
His children born there were Abigail, June 27, 
1640; Thomas, February 20, 1641-2; Hepzibah, 
April 14, 1644. 

John Benham was probably one of the passen- 


gers in the Mary and John ; was made freeman in 
1631 ; had land granted him in 1632, and was here 
as late as 1638. 

John Bursley was among the first settlers ; Dr. 
Harris says, 1630. He was in the country two years 
before, and also in 1634, but was one of the early 
settlers of Weymouth, and representative in 1636. 
Farmer says one of that name was of Exeter in 1643 
and 1645. 

John Brancker appears with Mr. attached to his 
name. He was one of the early settlers, and made 
freeman in 1632. He removed to Windsor, was a 
school-master there, and a man of some distinction. 
He lived not far from the burying-ground in Dor 
chester, probably near the corner of Stoughton and 
Pleasant streets. 

April 1, 1635, "It is ordered that there shall be 
a way paled out from the burying-place to Mr. 
Branker s, by the 16th day of May next, to be paled 
out by the several men that own the lots." 

September 10, 1637, " It is agreed by general vote 
of the plantation that there shall be a meeting-house 

built between Mr. Branker s and 

160 raised for the purpose." 

He sold his house and land in Dorchester to Am 
brose Martin, September 2, 1637. 

Roger Clap. His autobiography is contained in 
his oft-published memoirs. Born at Salcom, Devon, 
in 1609; passenger in the Mary and John, 1630; 
grantee of lands, 1633 ; filled most of the impor 
tant offices of the town at various times from 1637 
to 1665, when he was appointed commander of the 


Castle. He was of the ultra puritan school, and by 
no means tolerant of the innovations attempted by 
the Antinomians and Quakers. He resigned his 
post at the Castle upon the dissolution of the First 
Charter in 1686, unwilling to lend his co-operation 
to the tyrannical schemes of Governor Andros. 
On his resignation he removed to Boston, where he 
died in 1691, aged 82 years. His wife was daughter 
of Thomas Ford, who removed to Windsor. He left 
four sons and two daughters. Few of his descend 
ants (in the male line) are now living in Dorches 
ter ; but most of that name in Northampton and 
vicinity are his descendants through his son Preserved. 

Bernard Capen, grantee of land, August, 1633, an 
old man on his arrival, died November 8, 1638, aged 
76 years. His wife Joan, said to be the daughter of 
Oliver Purchase, survived him fifteen years.* His 
grave-stone is supposed to have been the oldest in 
New England. The present one has been placed at 
the head of his grave, in place of the original, which 
was either broken or illegible. A fiat stone covers 
the grave. His children were Ruth, born August 
7, 1600; Susanna, born April 11, 1602, and died 
November 13, 1666; John, born January 26, 1612. 

John Capen, son of the foregoing, grantee of land 
and freeman 1634, born 1612. Married lledegon 
Clap in 1637. Married a second wife, Mary Bass, 
daughter of Deacon Samuel Bass, of Braintree, in 
1647. Had one son (John) by his first marriage, 
and eight children by the second. Blake says Capt. 

* See New England Historial and Genealogical Register, vol. 2 ; p. 80. 


Capen was deacon of the church in 1658, Selectman 
sixteen years, repeatedly deputy to the Court, and 
thirteen years Town Recorder, and wrote more in the 
records than any other man. He died in 1692, aged 
80 years. By his first wife he had Joanna, born 
October 8, 1638; and John, born October 21, 1639. 
By his second wife he had Samuel, Mary, Bernard ; 
Preserved, born March 4, 1657; Joseph, born De 
cember 10, 1658; Hannah, born October, 1662; and 
Elizabeth, born December 29, 1666. Mr. Capen 
was by trade a shoemaker. His house is supposed 
to have stood at the corner of Pleasant and Pond 

The following are copies of letters sent by him 
to Deacon Bass, of Braintree, and his daughter Mary, 
a short time preceding his marriage to the latter. 

To his Loueing and kind ffreind Goodman Bass, Deacon of 

the church at Brantrey, giue this I pray you. 

My kind love and respect to you w th yo r wife remembered, 
w th thanks for all yo r kindness showed vnto me, hoping for yo r 
health and prosperity as my one. The Cause of my writtinge 
to you at this time, is only this, to make bold w th you to be as a 
Cloake to cover this my inclosed letter directed to yo r daughter, 
because as yet I know not who may be the bearer heerof, I 
would intreate you to delieur it vnto her. Y e Contents of it I 
know she will not hide it from you. Therefore I doe forbeare 
it my selfe, because I chouse rather breauely, but I would intreat 
her to keep it as private as she can from others. Thus in hast 
I rest, desiring yo r earnest prayers to god for vs for direction in 
this greate vndertakeing. 

Yo rs to vse in any thing I may. 
ffrom Dor: this 15 th of y e 2 d m. 1647. JOHN CAPEN. 


To his Deare and Louring and much respected ffreind Mary 
Bass, at her father house in Brantrey, giue this I pray 


My kind loue and affection to you remembred ; haueinge 
not as convenient opertunety to see and speake w th you soe 
oft as I could desier, I therfore make bold to take opertunety 
as occasione offers it selfe to visset you w th my letter, desiering 
y ( it may find acceptance w th you, as a token of my loue 
to you ; as I can assuer you y* yours haue found from me ; 
for as I came home from you y e other day, by y e way I reseaued 
your letter from your faithfull messenger, \v ch was welcom vnto 
me, and for w dl I kindly thank you, and do desier y l as it is y e 
first : so y l it may not be y e last, but y l it may be as a seed w ch 
will bring forth more fmte : and for your good counsell and 
aduise in your letter specefied, I doe accept, and do desier y* 
we may still commend y e casse to god, for direction and cleering 
vp of our way as I hope wee haue hethertoo done ; and y l our 
long considerations may at y e next time bring forth firme con- 
clussions, I meane verbally though not formally. Sweetharte I 
haue given you a large ensample of patience, I hope you will 
learne this instruction from y e same, namely, to show y e like 
toward me if euer occassion be offered for futuer time, and for 
y e present, condesendency vnto my request ; thus w th my kind 
loue remembred to yo r father and mother and Brothers and 
sisters w th thanks for all ther kindnes w ch haue been vndeserueing 
in me I rest, leaueing both them and vs vnto y e protection and 
wise direction of y e almighty. 

My mother remembers her loue vnto yo r father and mother ; 
as also vnto your selfe though as it vnknown. 

Yo rs to command in any thing I pleas, 
ffrom Dor. y e 5 th of y e 3 mo. 1647. JOHN CAPEN. 


To his Deare and Loueing and Much respected ffreind Mary 
Bass, at Mr fathers house in Brantrey, glue this I pray 


My kind loue and intiere affections to you remembred 
w th my respect vnto yo r father and mother and loue to yo r 
Brothers and sisters, hopeing of yo r health as I am at this time 
blessed be god. Ye cause of my writting to you at this time is 
to give you to vnderstand y l Sister Weld sent me word y e last 
night y l she had some stufs come to her hand, and this day I 
went thether of purpose to see them, y l soe I may send you 
word ; now she have 3 peeces of stuf, but I think y l ther is but 
one of them y l you would like for yo self. It is a pretty sad 
stuf, but it have a thred of whit in it : it is 3 quarters broad and 
y e priz is 5 s 6 d y e yard. I was hopeing to speake w th father 
hear to day, but he was gon a little before I came home : alsoe 
whill I was w th you at Brantrey Sister Swift being at Boston 
w th Sister Vpsall they boath being at y e hatters shop did thinke 
vppon you for a hat and chose out y e comlyest fashion hatt y l 
they could find: (avoiding fantastick fashons) and caused y e 
man to set it by vntell this first day thinking we should speake 
w th some of you this day. Y e hat was a demecaster, the priz 
was 24 s ; y e shop was y e corner shop over against M r Coggings 
on y e right hand as on goe up to M r Cottens house. It was set by 
w th my name vpon it written on a paper : these things I thought 
good to aquaint you w th . You may consider of it and doe as 
you shall thinke good. I cannot be long, because I would faine 
send this letter to you this night if ther come by any messenger. 
I am now in good health againe, thanks be to god, and able if 
opertunety did serue to ride or goe w th you either to Waymouth 
or Boston to yo r wedding. Thus in hast I rest, leaueing you to 
y e protection of y e almighty. I could be glad to hear a few 
lines from you if opertunety of a messenger did serue. 

Yo r Loueing husband till death. 
Dor. this 1 of y e 5 mo. 1647. JOHN CAPEN. 


Joshua Carter removed to Windsor. Several of 
his descendants were killed by the Indians. Isaac, 
son of Richard Carter, was baptized in Dorchester, 
June 20, 1658. 

Bray Clarke appears on the Records in 1634. 

Joseph Clarke was here early. Dr. Harris says 
in 1630; also that Thomas and Bray were here at 
that time, and that a grave-stone was erected to their 
memory with the following epitaph. 

" Here lie three Clarkes, their accounts are even, 
Entered on earth, carried up to Heaven." 

Augustin Clement, passenger with Capt. Cooper, 
in the James from Hampton, April, 1635 ; * called 
in the list a painter, sometime of Steading. He and 
his wife Elizabeth signed Dorchester Church Cove 
nant, 1636; grantee of lands, February, 1636. Their 
children were Samuel, born September 29, 1635 ; 
John, born October 21, 1639 ; Elizabeth, who mar 
ried William Sumner, Jr. ; and Joanna, .who died 
young. Mr. Clement died about 1674. He owned 
two houses in Boston, and house and land in Dor 
chester. After the decease of her husband, Mrs. 
Clement went to live with her daughter Mrs. Sumner. 

Richard Collicott. There is no evidence of the 
precise time of the arrival in New England of this 
active and enterprising settler of Dorchester, or the 
place of his birth in England. He is mentioned in 
Pyncheon s papers as a collector of furs in 1633. 
He may have been one of the old planters was 
doubtless a member of Mr. Warham s church before 

* Savage s Gleanings. 


March, 1633, when he was admitted a freeman. In 
1634, he obtained leave to erect two houses, one in 
June, at a place called the burying-ground (Indian), 
and in September, leave to set a house without the 
pale. In December, 1634, an order passed regulating 
a passage-way to Collicott s house in the Great Lots. 
In October, 1636, acting as a Trustee for the town, 
he receives the grant from Cutshumaquin of the 
whole territory of Unquety (Milton), including forty 
acres of land for himself, conferred by the town,* 
adjoining lands he already held on that side of the 
river, f 

In July, 1636, the town grants to Collicott six 
acres of the Unquety lands in Narraganset Way, 
on Mount Wollastoii line. In 1638, Dorchester 
has leave to use Collicott s house as a watch-house 
(doubtless at Unquety). Collicott was Selectman in 
1636-7 and 1641 ; was deputy to the Court 1637; 
charter member of the Artillery Company, of which 
he was 1st Sergeant, which gave him a military title 
which he retained all his life. He represented the 
Dorchester Church at the Cambridge Synod, held in 
1637, for the trial of Mrs. Ann Hutchinson. As 
early as 1635, the Court Records mention Collicott 
and Mr. Hathorne as appointed referees in a very 
important suit between Messrs. Cogan, Wolcott, 
Tilley, and Pinney. His fur trade probably brought 
him into much intercourse with the Indians, with 
whoiri he had great influence, which was called into 
use by Eliot in his endeavors to christianize them, J 

# See Town Records, p. 62. f See Town Records, p. 219. 

$ See Eliot s biography in Sparks. 


and his services were put in requisition by the New 
England Confederation in 1645, when he accompanied 
Atherton s expedition to Narraganset,* It was doubt 
less on a fur trading expedition to Maine, in 1648, 
that occurred to Collicott the remarkable providence 
mentioned by Winthrop.f He had much commerce 
with Maine during his whole life, and was elected 
to represent Saco in 1672, and as late as 1676 Haz 
ard states that Collicott was present when Capt. 
Thomas Lake, of Boston, was killed by the Indians 
at Arrowsick Island. $ Collicott moved to Boston 
in 1659, and was dismissed to the new church (Old 
North) there in 1660; and Sewell in his diary 
mentions that his mother lodged at Collicott s house 
in Boston, 1651. Soon after, he went to reside at his 
Milton farm, the same deeded by the Indians thirty 
years before. He appears as Trustee of Milton 
Church property in 1664, and an inhabitant of that 
town some years after. He finally moved to Boston 
a few years before his death, in 1686. He left a fam 
ily, but the name is extinct in this vicinity. By his 
wife, Thomasin, he had three children Experience 
(daughter), born 1641 ; Dependance (son), born July 
5, 1643; Preserved, baptized January 28, 1648. It 
is supposed that Hi chard Hall lived in his house 
after his removal to Boston. His residence in Dor 
chester appears to have been near the corner of 
Cottage and Pleasant streets. 

John Cogan was a very enterprising man ; he 
removed to Boston. Snow, in his history of Boston, 
says he was the first who set up a shop there. 

* See Hazard, vol. 2, p. 39. f Vol. 2 ; p. 336. 

$ See Hutchinsorij vol. 1 ; p. 346. 


Aaron Cooke was probably in Dorchester in 1630. 
He removed to Windsor. From Windsor he re 
moved to Northampton, and was a representative 
from that town ; and from thence to Hadley, which 
town he also represented. From the following vote 
on the Town Records, it appears that he did not, 
remove with the company of 1635. 

July 5, 1636, "It is ordered that Aaron Cook 
shall have half an acre of ground over against his 
lot, by the brook near the dead swamp, to build his 
house upon." 

Mr. Cooke was a man of great energy, and a devoted 
friend to the regicide Judges Goffe and Whalley. 
While they were in this country, they resided in his 
neighborhood. His first wife was daughter of Thom 
as Ford. He had three children by his second wife, 
Joan, daughter of Nicholas Denslow. He had a third 
and fourth wife, and died in the year 1690. 

Nicholas Denslow was one of the early comers. 
Dr. Harris says he was here in 16f30, made freeman 
in 1633. He removed to Windsor. He lived near 
Roxbury brook. 

Thomas Dewey. On the Town Records spelled 
Duee. Dr. Harris calls this name Duce. He remov 
ed to Windsor, and was the ancestor of Rev. Orville 
and Judge Dewey. On his removal to Windsor, he 
sold his house and land to Richard Jones. His 
wife was Frances Clark, whom he married March 22, 
1638. Their children were Thomas, born February 
16, 1639; Josia, baptized October 10, 1641; Anna, 
baptized October 15, 1643; Isrell,born September 25, 
1645; Jededia, born December 15, 1647. Thomas 


Dewey died April 27, 1648, and his widow married 
George Phelps, November 2, 1648. 

Thomas Deeble was one of the early settlers, and 
removed to Windsor. 

Robert Deeble probably went to Windsor. He 
and his sons had thirty acres of land granted them 
in Dorchester, January 4, 1635. 

Mr. Thomas Dimocke was one of the Selectmen 
in 1635. He removed to Cape Cod soon after 1638. 
He appears to have been a man of some distinction. 

Nathaniel Duncan. Mr. Blake places Mr. Dun 
can s name among the first comers he appears in 
the Town Records as grantee of land in 1633 and 37 ; 
Selectman of the town from 1635 to 45; one of the 
six who first signed the Church Covenant with Mr. 
Mather ; charter member of Artillery Company in 
1637; freeman 1635; was a successful merchant, 
and the superior advantages which the town of 
Boston offered, induced him to remove thither with 
many other persons in 1645. His name is on the 
records of the Old North Church in 1655. He was 
Vote Commissioner in Boston in 1646, and several 
times Deputy to the Court from Boston. Capt. 
Johnson describes him as learned in the Latin and 
French languages, also an accomplished accountant. 

George Dyer, there is every reason to believe, 
was one of the West Country settlers who came 
here in the Mary and John, in May, 1630. Farmer 
says he was on a Jury as early as September, 1630 ; 
became freeman in May, 1631 ; grantee Dorchester 
lands, April, 1633, being a saltmarsh proprietor of 
the third class in quantity ; doubtless a Church 


member at his coming, being then fifty-one years 
old. He and his wife Abigail signed the Church 
Covenant anew, 1636. He died in 1672, aged 93 
years. His daughter Elizabeth married William 
Trescott, and Mary married William Pond. 

John Eeles " dwelt at Foxpoint." It appears that 
he removed to Hingham. He may have been John 
the bee-hive maker, who finally settled in Newbury. 
He had a son Samuel baptized in Dorchester, May 
3, 1640. The latter lived in Hingham, and was a 
Justice of the Peace ; he was the father of Rev. 
Nathaniel, who was born 1678. A large number of 
Samuel s descendants have been clergymen. 

Mr. Bagot or Bigod Egglestone was probably here 
in 1630 ; made a freeman in 1631. He removed to 
Windsor, and had many descendants, according to 
Windsor records. He died September 1, 1674, 
" nere 100 yer ould." 

Robert El well was in Dorchester as early as 1634. 
Probably he remained here four or five years, then 
removed to Salem ; from the latter place, according 
to Farmer, he went to Gloucester. 

Richard Fay was here in 1634, but it is not known 
what became of him. 

Thomas Ford came in the Mary and John in 1630. 
He was made freeman in 1631, and removed to 
Windsor. One of his daughters, Joan, married 
Roger Clap ; another, Aaron Cooke. Abigail, the 
eldest, married, in 1630, John Strong, and Hepzibah 
married Richard Lyman. 

Walter Filer probably came in 1630 ; he was dig 
nified by the title of Lieutenant. He removed to 


Windsor. His children, born in Windsor, were 
John, September 12, 1642; Znrobabel, December 
23, 1644. John married Elizabeth Dolman, October 
17, 1672; Znrobabel married Experience Strong. 
May 27, 1669. 

Henry Feakes, Fowkes, or Fookes, is. undoubtedly 
the person whom Dr. Harris calls Stokes. He re 
moved to Windsor. 

Joseph Flood appears on the Town Records in 
1635. He had a son Eleazer, baptized in Dorches 
ter in 1638. He removed to Lynn. 

Stephen French was here, according to Dr. Har 
ris, in 1630; made freeman in 1634. He removed 
to Weymouth. 

Mr. Humphrey Gallop was among the earliest 
settlers, and dignified with the title of Mr. His 
wife was Anne, and they had a son Joseph born here 
in 1633. 

William Gaylord, doubtless a fellow passenger 
with the clergymen, one of the first deacons. He and 
his colleague, William Rockwell, signed the first 
land grants of Dorchester; grantee of land in 1633; 
Deputy and Selectman 1635-6; removed to Windsor, 
and died December 14, 1656. 

Christopher Gibson applied for freemanship in 
October, 1630. He appears on the Town Records 
as fence viewer in 16345; member of Dorchester 
Church in 1636 ; inhabitant of Dorchester as late 
as 1646. He removed to Boston before 1650, when 
he assisted in forming the Old North Society. He 
is described in a lease as a soap boiler, of Boston. 
He left by will to the town of Dorchester, about 


1674, the sum of 104, to be invested in land for 
school purposes. This sum, laid out in twenty-six 
acres of land at Smelt Brook, has proved of great 
value to the town, and a part of it is still held.* On 
his removal to Boston he sold his house and land to 
Thomas Trott, bounded on the north side by Mr. 
Heywood, the Avest by John Pierce and Henry Kib- 
by, the south by the highway, and the east by 
Thomas Makepeace and Thomas Birch. This deed 
is dated September 15, 1648. 

Giles Gibbs, a first comer, supposed from Devon 
shire, where the name is common. f Freeman in 
1633, and grantee of Dorchester lands the same year. 
Selectman in 1634. He removed to Windsor. 

Ralph Glover, of Dorchester, applied for freeman- 
ship in 1630. He died in 1633, and his estate was 
administered upon in. August, 1.633.J 

John Glover. His name appears upon the list of 
the first adventurers to Massachusetts in May, 1628, 
and he attended a General Court of the Patentees 
held in London, May 13, 1629. He is supposed to 
have lived in Dorsetshire, but it is not probable that 
he accompanied the West Country settlers in the 
Mary and John. His name does not appear in 
Dorchester Records until 1636. Charlestown Re 
cords include Mr. Glover among the residents of 
that town, after the removal to Boston of Governor 
Winthrop in 1630. He is named as grantee at 

* From the proceeds of the land which has been sold ; there has 
accrued a fund of upwards of $11,000. One of the schools of the town 
bears the name of this their earliest benefactor. 

f See Savage s Gleanings. $ See Court Records. 

See Company s Records. 



Dorchester in 1636, and also Selectman and Deputy 
the same year, and he was constantly chosen to fill 
these places until 1651, when he was elected Assistant. 
I ! was member of Dorchester Church in 1636, and 
appears to have been a large purchaser of the im 
provements of the Windsor emigrants. Mr. New- 
berry s lands and others at Squantum came into his 
possession, and he also laid out a large farm at Un- 
inrty. He was engaged in the business of tanning, 
{ apt. Johnson describes him as " a plain, sincere, 
godly man, strong for the truth." Mr. Glover died 
in 1654, leaving four sons. 

An account of the shipwreck of Mr. Glover s 
vessel, in 1631, is given in the History of Lynn. He 
\vas the first to set up tanning in Massachusetts. By 
his will it appears that he owned land in Rhinehall, 
County of Lancaster. This property he left to his 
son Thomas, who may have been the one of that 
name who was admitted member of the Ancient and 
Honorable Artillery in 1644, and returned to Eng 
land. He kept a great number of cattle at his farm 
in Dorchester. He left four sons : Thomas, in Eng 
land, Habakkuk, Nathaniel, and Peletiah, minister of 
Springfield. John Gill and Hoger Billings lived on 
his two farms in Dorchester at his decease. 

Jonathan Gillet removed to Windsor, and carried 
with him children Cornelius, Jonathan, and Mary ; 
had born there Anna, December 29, 1639; Joseph, 
July "25, 1641 ; Samuel, January 22, 1642-3 ; John, 
baptized October 5, 1644 ; Abigayel, baptized June 
28, 1646; Jercmia, born February 12, 1647 ; Josias. 
baptized July 14, 1650. 


John Gilbert had the title of Mr. He was pro- - 
bably here in 1630. He removed to Taunton, and 
was one of the early settlers of that town. 

John Goyt was here in 1635, and removed to 

John Greenway was doubtless one of the pas 
sengers of the Mary and John, and the first applicant 
from Dorchester for freemanship. His name occurs 
on the records as Goodman G. as late as 1641. He 
was past the prime of life when he came. His wife 
was Mary ; his children were Ursula, who married 
Hugh Batten ; Mary, who married Thomas Millet ; 
Ann, who married Robert Pierce ; and Katharine, 
who married William Daniel, all of this town. Mr. 
Greenway was a millwright by trade, and was much 
respected by his fellow townsmen. 

Matthew Grant was among the earliest comers, 
and was made freeman in 1631. He removed to 
Windsor. Samuel Grant, whom the Windsor records 
say was born in Dorchester, November 12, 1631, was 
undoubtedly his son. Samuel had a large family of 

Edmund Hart was here early, and had land grant 
ed to him in 1632. He was made freeman in 1634, 
and removed to Weymouth. 

John Hayden received a share of the Neck lands, 
and was probably the person of that name who w r as 
of Brain tree in 1640. 

Thomas Hatch remained in Dorchester until 1638, 
and is probably the person of that name in Barnsta- 

* See Genealogical Register of April, 1851. 


ble about 1640, and perhaps removed from that 
place to Scituate. If so, he died about 1646. 

William Hathorne, landholder and inhabitant of 
Dorchester in 1634, and same year Selectman; depu 
ty, 1635; grantee of land at Dorchester Neck in 
1637, about which time he removed to Salem. He 
represented the latter town twenty-one years ; was 
Speaker of the House, and one of the most promi 
nent men in Massachusetts through a long life, which 
terminated at Salem in 1681.* 

Nathaniel Hall was here in 1634. What became 
of him cannot be ascertained, but probably he re 
mained in the town but a short time. 

William Hannum (now Hammond) was among 
the early settlers. He removed to Windsor, and from 
thence to Northampton. A person of that name 
died in Northampton, June 1, 1677, probably the 
same. It appears that he lived in or near Hum 
phreys street. On his removal to Windsor he sold 
his house and land to Jonas Humphrey, and a deed 
w r as given in 1637. The land has been in possession 
of Humphrey s descendants to this clay. 

John Hoskins came to Dorchester in 1630, and 
was made freeman in 1631. He appears to have been 
past the middle age of life on his arrival, and was 
denominated Goodman. He removed to Windsor. 
As he is called John Hoskins, senior, it is presumed 
that he had a son John. In 1634 he had granted 
to him four acres of meadow on the Neck " where 
the dog was killed." 

* See Bradford s New England Biography. 


Simon Hoyt was here early, probably in 1630, and 
was made freeman May 18, 1631. He removed to 
Windsor, and was an Elder or Deacon there. 

William Hosford, Dr. Harris says, was here in 
1630, and appears on the Town Records in 1633. 
Made freeman in 1634, and removed to Windsor. 

Joseph Holley was here in 1634, and probably 
removed previous to 1637. 

Thomas Holcomb was made freeman in 1634, and 
removed to Windsor in 1635. He sold his house 
and land to Richard Jones, August 12, 1635. He 
had children Abigayl, born January 6, 1638 ; 
Joshua, baptized September 27, 1640 ; Sara, born 
August 14, 1642; Benaja, born June 23, 1644; 
Debroa, born October 15, 1646; Nathaniel, born 
November 4, 1648 ; Debroa, born February 15, 1650; 
Jonathan, March 23, 1652. Mr. Holcomb died in 
1657. His widow married James Eno in 1658. 

John Holland was here as early as 1633, and 
continued here until 1637. He then being about to 
start for Virginia, left a will, giving his wife Judith 
one half of his estate, excepting "Munning s Moone," 
which he gave his eldest son John over and above 
his portion ; the rest of his estate to be divided 
among his children, excepting forty shillings to Rev. 
R. Mather, to purchase a silver cup as a remem 
brance of his love to him. He had a son John, 
who probably settled in Newton ; a daughter, Obe 
dience, who married Benjamin Gamline ; Nathaniel, 
baptized in 1638. Mr. Holland died about 1652, 
leaving a large estate for those times, about ,4,400. 
He was concerned in navigation, and owned houses 


and land both in this town and Boston. After his 
decease his widow married George Kimwright, of 
Dorchester. They removed to Cambridge in 1661 

John Holman, mentioned in Pyncheon s papers 
as a collector of furs at Dorchester in 1633. Dor 
chester records mention his residence by the Hock, 
in 1634. He was often Selectman of the town, and 
is believed to have resided at Unquety the latter 
part of his life. He was Ensign of the first military 
company in Dorchester, under Israel Stoughton 
and Lieut. Nathaniel Duncan ; he was one of the 
first members of the Ancient and Honorable Artille 
ry Company, and stands nineteen on the roll. He 
died probably in 1652, leaving children John, born 
February 23, 1637, and Margaret ; these were the 
children of his first wife, Anne, who died December 
1, 1639. Soon after her death he married again, and 
had Thomas, born August 6, 16-11 ; Abigail, born 
1 642 ; Samuel ; Patience, baptized January 28, 1 648, 
He was concerned in navigation, and left a good 
estate. He seems to have lived on Adams street, 
near the residence of the late Hon. Amasa Stetson. 
Edward Wyatt afterwards owned it, but sold it 
to llalph Sammes, and the latter sold it to Edward 
Cowell, of Boston, in 1663. In 1637 is the follow 
ing order on the Town Records. 

" It is ordered, that Mr. Holman shall have twenty 
acres of upland beyond the ***** next to Mr. 
Hutchinson s." 

In his will he says " And whereas the honorable 
Court haue established a lawee the eldest sonne shall 
haue a double porcon, my desire is and to my griefe I 


speake it, my sonne being groune to some yeres 
proueth. disobedient and stubborn against mee, my 
desire is he may be deprived of that benefit w ch others 
may justly enjoy."* 

Mr. John Hill came here about 1633. His wife 
was Frances. He left eleven children. His eldest 
son was John; Jonathan, born about 1639, was 
probably his son, and removed to Bridgewater; Sam 
uel, born 1640; Hannah, born 1641; Mercy, 1642; 
Mary, who married Thomas Breck, February 12, 
1656; Hannah, married D. Fisher, of Taunton ; 
Frances, married Jonah Austin, Dec. 14, 1667, and 
removed to Taunton in 1674. Another of his daugh 
ters married a Taunton man, and removed to Taun 
ton in 1671. Mr. Hill was a blacksmith by trade, 
and died about 1664. He was a member of the 
Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. 

John Hull, of Dorchester, is the same as John of 
Boston. Farmer says he was admitted freeman in 
1632. He was one of those who had a share in the 
division of Neck lands in 1637 ; also other divi 
sions in the town. He was admitted member of the 
Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1638. 
and is styled Captain, but was not Captain of that 
company. It has been erroneously supposed that 
John Hull, the mint master, who married the daugh- 

* In justice to the memory of his son John, here referred to, we state 
that there was evidence before the General Court, in 1656, that John 
was a good and obedient son, and that the trouble was made by his 
mother-in-law, who, no doubt, induced the old gentleman to have such 
a provision put in his will. The persons who testified in this matter were 
Nicholas Ellen, William Salsbury, and Robert Redman and his wife ; 
the latter had lived for several years in the family. 


ter of Judge Samuel Sewall, was the same as the 
above. John, the mint master, was son of Robert, 
of Muddy River, and it is probable that Robert was 
brother of our John, and that Robert s son John, the 
mint master, served his time- with John the elder. 
By an original letter to John from his brother Ed 
ward, dated London, June 14, 1654, it appears that 
John was a goldsmith, and that he had a brother 
Richard in England, of whom he wrote in terms of 
disparagement, and whom he wished to induce to 
come to New England. 

George Hull, mentioned by Blake as a first comer, 
and among the first recorded grantees at Dorchester. 
He served the town as one of the first deputies, with 
Stoughton and Phelps; was Selectman in 1635. He 
moved to Connecticut in 1637, where his name ap 
pears among the first formers of that colony. 

William Hulbert or Hulburt probably came to 
Dorchester in 1630; was made freeman in 1632. He 
removed to Windsor, and from Windsor to North 
ampton. Dr. Harris calls this name Hubbard. 

Thomas Jeffrey was made freeman in 1634. He 
removed to New Haven, and for many years went 
by the name of Sergeant Thomas Jeffrey. He died 
in New Haven in August, 1661, much respected. 

Thomas Jones was grantee of Dorchester land in 
1635, and one of the first signers of the Church 
Covenant with Mr. Mather in 1636 ; Selectman the 
same year, and often for thirty years after ; Deputy 
in 1638. He lived near the hill still called by his 
name, and died 1667, aged 75. Col. Stough ton s will 
calls him "my loving friend Thomas Jones." Pie 


was one of the Executors of Stough ton s wilL He ^ 
came to New England, according to Savage, in the 
Abigail Hackwell, from London, in June, 1635, with 
his wife Ellen, and children Isaac, aged 8 years ; 
Hester, 6 years ; Thomas, 3 years ; and Sarah, about 
3 months. Mr. Jones was then 40 years of age, his 
wife 36. Their children born in Dorchester were 
Hannah, born March 28, 1636, perhaps 1636-7 ; 
Rebecca, February 9, 1641. Thomas died July 24, 
1635, soon after their voyage began, and several 
weeks before it ended. Sarah married Isaac Bollard, 
January 3, 1651 ; llebecca married James Green, 
November 9, 1661. One of his daughters, probably 
Esther, married Richard Way. Mr. Jones was a 
member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery. 
He died in November, 1675, the grave-stone says 
aged u about 75 years," but according to the age given 
w r hen he embarked he must have been about 80. 

Mr. Johnson. Blake mentions Mr. Johnson as a .<: 
first comer, and the records contain the surname only 
as grantee of land. Dr. Harris says he removed to 
Roxbury. Edward Johnson, of Roxbury, was one of 
the Executors of Israel Stoughton s will. Johnson 
owned lands in Dorchester, 1656. 

Richard Jones died previous to 1642, and his wife 
did not long survive him, the inventory of her estate 
being made Ecbruary 2, 1642. She was probably a 
Thacher, and she speaks in her will of her brother 
Thacher. They left a son Timothy. Mr. Jones 
bought the estates of Thomas Holcomb and Thomas 
Dcwey on their removal to Windsor. 

John Knight was here as early as 1634, and re- 
6 " 


moved soon after, probably either to Watertown or 

Thomas Kinnersly. Sylvester Judd, first-rate 
authority, supposes that this name is intended for 
Thomos Kimberly, an early settler of New Haven. 

Thomas Lambert it is presumed did not tarry 
long in the town. He was one of those among 
whom the Neck lands were divided in 1637. 

John Leavitt was here as early as 1634, and about 
1638 he sold his house and land in Dorchester to 
Mr. Makepeace. He removed to Hingham, and was 
probably the person of this name married there De 
cember 15, 1646. 

Capt. William Lovell it is supposed came to Dor 
chester in 1630, but he did not remain many years. 
Lovell s Island, in Boston Harbor, undoubtedly took 
its name from him. He is probably the person 
referred to by Hutchinson.* 

Roger Ludlow was a native of Dorsetshire, and 
resided at Dorchester in that county previous to the 
emigration of 1630. He was brother-in-law of 
Governor Endicott, who had arrived in New 
England two years before. Ludlow was at the time 
of his arrival in America already in mature life, 
possessed of some property, and an adventurer or 
stockholder in the Massachusetts Company. He 
was chosen Assistant or Director in London, in place 
of Samuel Sharp, and embarked from Plymouth, 
Devon, in the Mary and John, in March, 1630. His 
position as member of the Colonial Government gave 

* See History Massachusetts, p. 385. 


him much influence in the Dorchester plantation, 
where he affixed his abode with his fellow voyagers. 
His more extensive duties prevented him from acting 
officially in the affairs of the settlement, and his 
name appears in the Dorchester Records only as 
grantee of land. He built his house in the vicinity 
of Rock Hill, and in digging his cellar, in 1631, he 
found, a foot below the ground, two pieces of French 
money, one coined in 1596.* In November, 1632, 
he obtained from the Colonial Government a grant 
of one hundred acres of land, lying between " Mus- 
quantum Chappell and the mouth of Naponsett," a 
part of the Squantum farms known as Ludlow s Point. 
He is not mentioned as a lawyer by profession; but 
from his continual employment in matters of juris 
prudence, both in Massachusetts and Connecticut, it 
is inferred that he was educated for that profession. 
He belonged entirely to the Puritan school in his 
religious views, but he does not seem to have attained 
a high degree of self-control in his temper, or an 
entire exemption from worldly ambition. Several 
instances of these imperfections are recorded in 
Winthrop, and the Court Records make mention of 
various fines inflicted at the suit of Mr. Ludlow. 
In May, 1634, he was chosen Deputy Governor, and 
Mr. Dudley Governor; and the following year, 1635, 
he expected to have been chosen Governor, but the 
choice fell on Mr. John Haynes, and Mr. Ludlow 
protested against the election, which so offended the 
freemen that they left him out of the magistracy 

* See Winthrop, p. 59. 


altogether.* Ludlow was employed in 1634 in 
overseeing the works at the Castle. In 1635 Mr. 
Ludlow was much engaged with Mr. Stonghton, Mr. 
Ne wherry, and Mr. Maverick, all of Dorchester, in 
the Connecticut project, which enterprise he had 
previously opposed, although Mr. Phelps and him 
self had been appointed by the Government Com 
missioners for these plantations. In the spring of 
1636, he removed with others to Windsor, and dis 
posed of his property at Dorchester. He became at 
once a leading man in the new settlement, and pre 
sided at the first court of magistrates at Hartford, 
April 26, 1636, and was Deputy Governor of the 
new colony till 1639, when he removed to Fairfield, 
in the New Haven Colony, where he continued to 
reside until 1654. At this period a dispute with 
the government of the latter colony upon the affairs 
of the Dutch war induced him to quit New England 
forever, and he is said to have died in Virginia, f 

John Maverick, the associate minister with Mr. 
Warham, had been ordained and settled in England. 
He was selected by Mr. White as a suitable teacher 
for the West Country settlers, whom he accompanied 
in 1630. He had doubtless been silenced for non 
conformity. He was about 55 years old on arrival. 
Governor Winthrop speaks of him as a man of very 
humble spirit, and faithful in furthering the work of 
the Lord, both in the church and civil state. He 
early enlisted with the leading men of the Dor- 

* See Hutchinson, vol. 1, p. 43. 

f See Allen s Biographical Dictionary. 


Chester parish in the project of settling on the Con 
necticut ; but before his final arrangements for 
removal were completed, death overtook him at 
Boston, February 3, 1636. 

John Mason, born in England, 1600. Prince 
calls him a relative of the New Hampshire patentee. 
He was among the first settlers of Dorchester, and 
commanded the Dorchester Band, Nov. 1633 ; Israel 
Stoughton, ensign. Mason had served with Fairfax 
abroad, before he came to America, and was invited 
to return to England and join him in the parlia 
mentary service. He was employed in laying out 
the works at the Castle, and also in fortifying Hock 
Hill in 1634-5. He received a grant of land, and 
lived near Fox Point in 1634. In 1635 he was 
deputy. He embarked zealously in the Connecticut 
enterprise, and was among the first emigrants to 
Windsor. The war with the Pequod Indians com 
menced the year after the settlement at Windsor, 
and Mason was called to command the river troops ; 
and the battle of May 26, 1637, at the fort on Mys 
tic river, fought under his command, nearly annihi 
lated that warlike tribe, and has always been re 
garded as one of the most daring exploits on record. 
He spent a long arid useful life in Connecticut, and 
died at Norwich, 1672. He was the author of a 
history of the Pequod wa r * , Hf. I]ffiy^ L, f Say- 
brook, Ct, in 1647, and to Norwich in 1659, where 
he died, as before named, in the 73d year of his age. 
As a soldier, he knew no fear, yet was cautious and 

* See his biography by Mr. Ellis, in Sparks s collection. 


prudent. His life and conversation were of the 
Puritan stamp, without ostentation and above re 
proach. His children were Priscilla, born October, 
1641, who married Rev. James Fitch, of Norwich, 
in 1664; Samuel, born July, 1644, who resided in 
Stonington, and became a major; Rachael, born 
Oct. 1648; Anne, born June, 1650; John, born 
August, 1646, who was a captain, and was wounded 
in the swamp fight in King Philip s war, December 
19, 1675, and is supposed to have died therefrom, 
leaving a widow Abigail and two children, John and 
Ann ; Daniel, born April, 1652, and died in Ston 
ington, Ct, in 1736, being ancestor of the late Hon. 
Jeremiah Mason, of Boston ; Elizabeth, born in 
August, 1654. Capt. Mason sold his house and 
land in Hingham to Thomas Thaxter, of that place. 
This estate formerly belonged to Robert Peck, and 
it is not improbable that one of Mason s wives was 
a daughter of the latter. 

Thomas Marshall s name appears on the Town 
Records in 1634. He did not long remain in Dor 
chester. He may have been the same as the 
Thomas, of Boston, tailor, or one of the same name 
in Lynn. In the Town Records is the following 
order : 

December 29, 1634, " It is granted Thomas Mar 
shall have 8 breadth next unto Thomas G 

(probably Gunn) in the late burial place." 

John Miller. It is supposed that this person was 
not the minister of the same name who preached 
a while in Rowley ; it is more likely that he was 
the John Miller who was subsequently in Rehoboth, 


as several Dorchester people removed to that place. 
John, junior, of Ilehoboth, was slain in the Narra- 
ganset fight of 1676. 

Alexander Miller is supposed to have been in 
Dorchester in 1630 ; made freeman in 16f38 ; not 
married in 1636. 

George Minot, Selectman of Dorchester, grantee 
of land, and freeman, 1634. Pie was a native of 
Saffron Walden, in Essex, and had a family before 
leaving England. He was Deputy, 1635-6, one of 
the first signers of the Church Covenant in 1636, 
and thirty years ruling elder of the church. He 
died Sunday, Dec. 24th, 1671, aged 77. There is a 
very full account of his posterity in the Genealogi 
cal Register, 1847. He had sons John, born in 
England, April 2, 1626 ; James, born December 31, 
1628 ; Stephen, born May 6, 1631 ; Samuel, born 
Dec. 6, 1635. Mrs. Martha Minot (undoubtedly 
his wife) died Dec. 3, 1657. 

Mr. Thomas Makepeace came, in all probability, 
in 1635 ; had a wife Elizabeth. He was a member 
of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery in 1638, 
had the title of Mr., and appears to have been a 
man of some importance. He removed to Boston. 
He was of liberal sentiments. The Court Records 
say that he, " because of his novel disposition, 
was informed we were weary of him, unless he 
reform." He was one of the patentees of Dover, 
N. H. Had sons Thomas and William. His daugh 
ter Waitawhile married Thomas Cooper, of Boston, 
13th September, 1661 ; Hannah married Stephen 
Hoppin ; Joseph, baptized September 20, 1646. He 
died in Boston in 1666. 


Thomas Marshfield was born at Exeter, England. 
It is probable that he came here in 1630. He re 
moved to Windsor. He is presumed to be the 
father of Samuel, one of the proprietors of West- 
field, who died in Springfield in 1692. 

John Moore came as deacon of the church in 1630. 
He removed to Windsor, and was deacon of the 
church there. There was a John Moore in town in 
1637, who was chosen to do some business for the 
plantation that year. If he was the same, he could 
not have removed with the first or second company. 
In 1636 John Moore had land granted him " next 
the ship." There were three persons of this name 
among the early settlers, who were admitted free 
men in 1631, 1633 and 1636. 

Edward Munnings was born in England in 1595, 
and his wife Mary in 1605. They came to New 
England in the Abigail, Hackwell, from London, in 
the summer of 1635, and brought their children with 
them, as follows. Take-heed ; Mary, born 1626 ; 
Anna, born 1629 ; Mahabuleel, born 1632; Hope- 
still, born in Dorchester, April 15, 1637, and went 
to England; Returned, born Sept. 7, 1640, w r as a 
cooper by trade, and removed to Boston. Mr. Mun 
nings appears to have been the original owner of 
Moon Island, which went by the name of " Mun 
nings Moon." It is probable Mahaleel Munnings, 
of Dorchester, was son of Edmund. Mahaleel had 
a daughter Hannah, baptized in Dorchester, Sep 
tember 27th, 1657. The Church Records say " her 
father came from England." He removed to Boston 
in 1659, joined the Second Church there November 


27th of that year, and was drowned in the Mill 
Creek on the night of February 27th, 1659-60. It 
is very probable that he is the person who came 
over in the Speedwell, Robert Lock master, in 1656, 
and who is called in the second number of the New 
England Historical and Genealogical Register, Mu- 
huhulet Munnings, aged 24 years. 

Thomas Newberry, one of the earliest settlers and 
largest landed proprietors of Dorchester, received 
from the General Court a grant of one hundred 
acres on Neponset, March, 1634, and many grants 
from the Dorchester proprietary. He laid out a 
large farm at S quantum, and built a house there, 
which are referred to in the Colonial Records of 
1666, being partly the bounds between Dorchester 
and Mt. Wollaston. Mr. Newberry lived on the 
Rock in 16-34, when he became freeman and Select 
man. In 1635 he was appointed to oversee works 
at the Castle. He was early engaged in the Con 
necticut enterprise, sold his Dorchester property, 
and prepared to remove to Windsor ; but his death, 
which took place in 1636, prevented. His family, 
however, removed. His farm passed into the pos 
session of John Glover, and was situated in that 
part of Dorchester now Quincy, and known as The 

John Newton was here early ; Dr. Harris says in 
1630. How long he remained is uncertain. It is 
not improbable that he was the person of that name 
subsequently in Marlboro . There was a Henry New 
ton baptized in Dorchester, March 1, 1642 probably 
his son. There is a remark in the Church Records 


against his name as " crooked." Whether crooked 
in person or character it doth not appear. 

John Niles was here in 1634. He removed to 
Braintree. By his wife Jane he had in Braintree 
children Hannah, John, Joseph, Nathaniel, Samuel, 
Increase and Benjamin, born between 1636 and 

Elias Parkman, grantee of Dorchester lands in 
1633; one of the Windsor list in 1636; again at 
Dorchester in 1637-8 ; removed afterwards to 

James Parker was here early ; Dr. Harris says in 
1630; was made freeman in 163-4. He removed to 
Weymouth. According to Farmer, he was repre 
sentative from 1639 to 1643. Being a preacher, he 
received a call to settle at Portsmouth, which he 
declined. He left New England for Barbadoes, 
whence he wrote, in 1646, a letter to Gov. Winthrop, 
which is in Hutchinson s Collection, 155-158. 
There was a person of that name, probably the 
same, who died about 1666. He appeared to be a 
trader between Barbadoes and Boston. He was a 

William Phelps, one of the earliest settlers of 
Dorchester, and among the first grantees of land ; 
applied for freemanship, October, 1630; one of the 
first selectmen in 1633 ; Deputy with Stoughton 
and Hull in 1634. He removed to Windsor in 
1636, and was member of the first Court of Magis 
trates in Connecticut. Two others of the name 
(George and Samuel) appear in Dorchester records 
before the Connecticut emigration supposed bro- 


thers of William, whom they probably accompanied 
to Windsor. There was also a Richard Phelps, a 
son to one of the preceding. The name ceases at 
Dorchester from that time. 

John Fierce (spelt Pears), admitted freeman in 
1631 ; selectman in 1633, 36 and 41 ; proprietor 
of lands in 1656. 

There were two of this name in Dorchester, both 
early. One was a cooper. His first wife, that we 
have any account of, was Mary ; his second, Rebecca. 
His children were Nehemiah, born February 17, 
1631-32; Samuel, probably older, as he is mentioned 
first ; Mehitable, who married Jeremiah Rogers ; 
Mary, born March 6, 1638 ; Mercy, and one other 
child, probably Exercise. About 1642 he removed 
to Boston, and sold his house in Dorchester to 
Richard Curtis. He died in Boston in 1661. His 
son Nehemiah was a cooper also. 

John Pierce and Farnell his wife had a son Jo 
seph, born in Dorchester October 30, 1631 ; Abigail, 
born July 17, 1633; John, born 1634, and died the 
same day ; Nehemiah, born July 12, 1637, and died 
in October, 1639. Parnell, wife of John, died in 
October, 1639. This John, it is supposed, is the 
one designated mariner, and was of Stepney, county 
of Middlesex, in England. 

John Phillips, one of the first settlers ; freeman 
in October, 1630; grantee of land in 1634; held 
property in Dorchester in 1656, but removed to Bos 
ton in 1645 ; one of the founders of the Old North 
Society in 1649. He was styled "Biskett Maker." 
By his wife Johanna he had a daughter Mary, born 


in 1633 and died in 1640; John, born April, 1635 ; 
Israel, born June 3, 1642, and died September, 1643. 
Mary, supposed to be a daughter of his, married 
a Mr. George Mountjoy, of Boston. Mr. Phillips 
was a man of good circumstances, among the best 
in the town. After his removal to Boston, he sold 
some of his property in Dorchester to Augustine 
Clement, and the latter sold property in Boston to 
him. Mr. Phillips also sold house and lands in 
Dorchester to William Robinson, in 1651. He 
lived in Leeds s Lane, now Savin Hill Avenue, and 
sold his place to Mr. Gurnsey. 

George Phillips was among the earliest settlers. 
He removed to Windsor. 

Widow Purchase, grantee of four acres in 1633, 
and proprietor of Dorchester Neck in 1637; proba 
bly mother of Oliver Purchase, who was admitted 
freeman and church member in 1636. O. Purchase 
sold his property at Dorchester and removed to Lynn, 
which he represented many years from 1660. Wil 
liam Purchase was also in Dorchester early. 

Andrew Pitcher, grantee in 1634, 37 and 47. 
Freeman and church member in 1641. By his wife 
Margaret, he had children John ; Experience, 
baptized Sept. 25, 1642; Mary, baptized November 
25, 1644, and married Mr. Mills; lluth, baptized 
July 25, 1647; Samuel, baptized April 18, 1652; 
and Nathaniel. Experience married Joseph, son of 
Edward Bugbee, of Roxbury. Mr. Pitcher was a 
farmer, and lived, the latter part of his life, in what 
is now Milton. He died Feb. 19, 1660. His grand 
son, Andrew, born in Dorchester.. 1 ^85 graduated 


at Harvard, 1703 settled in the ministry at Sci- 
tuate, Mass., and died Sept. 27, 1723. 

George Proctor, grantee in 1634, 37 and 56. 
Town bailiff in 1642. His wife was Edith. His 
children were Sarah and Mary, who probably came 
with their parents; Abigail, born August 24, 1637, 
married Joseph Lowell, of Boston, March 8, 1659; 
Thomas ; Samuel, born November 8, 1640. Sarah 
married Thomas Trott. Mr. Proctor died 29 (11), 
1661. After his decease his widow removed to Bos 
ton, and undoubtedly lived with her son Samuel, 
who settled there. Mr. Proctor s residence appears 
to have been on the north-east side of Meeting-house 
Hill, on or near the spot where Samuel Downer, Jr. 
now resides. After Mrs. Proctor removed to Boston, 
it was sold to David Jones, then to John Beighton. 

Humphrey Pinney came from Somersetshire, Eng., 
1630, in the Mary and John. Grantee of land in 
1633; moved to Windsor in 1635. His residence 
in Windsor w r as about one mile north of the present 
congregational church, adjoining Mr. Gay lord his 
old well is still in existence. He married Mary 
Hull, probably daughter of George Hull. He died 
Aug. 20, 1683. She died August 18, 1684. Had 
children 1st, Samuel, born in Dorchester, who went 
to Windsor with his parents, and married Joyce 
Bissell, Nov. 17, 1665 they had three children, 
2d. Nathaniel, born December, 1640, married Sarah 
Phelps, widow of Samuel Phelps, son of William. 
She was daughter of Edward Griswold. They had 
two children. He died August 7, 1676. She died 
Nov. 6, 1715. 3d. Mary, born June 16, 1644, mar- 


lied Abraham Phelps, son of George ; had children. 
She died July 2, 1725. He died Jan. 28, 1728, 
aged 85. 4th. Sarah, born Dec. 3, 1648; married 
William, son of Wm. Phelps, as his second wife, 
Dec. 20, 1676; left no children. 5th. John, born 
October 19, 1651; died in Windsor, 1697. 6th. 
Abigail, born November 26, 1654; jfnarried John 
Addoms (or Adams), Dec. 6th, 1667 had children. 
7th. Isaac, born Feb. 24, 1663; married Sarah 
Clarke ; had seven children. 

John Pope, grantee of land in 1634, 47 and 56 ; 
one of the first signers of Church in 1636. There 
appear to be matters relating to his name which are 
not reconcilable, unless there were two of the name 
and generation. The first wife of his, we know of, 
is Jane. They had a son John, born June 30, 1635 ; 
Nathan, born and died in 1641. Thomas, son of 
John and Alice, born December 27, 1643. There 
was a Jane Pope, of Dorchester, who died the latter 
part of 1662, or early in 1663, who left a daughter 
Patience, the wife of Edward Blake. There was a 
Margaret, wife of John Pope, died October 20, 1672, 
aged about 74 years, buried in Dorchester burying 
ground. John Pope, sen., died October 19, 1686 ; 
left a widow Margaret, who administered on his estate. 
There was a John Pope who was a roguish fellow, 
and was arraigned before the General Court, which 
resulted as follows, 30 (2) 1640 : " John Pope, 
for his unchast attempt upon a girle, and dalliance 
w th maydes, and rebellios, or stubborn carriage 
against his master, was censured to bee severely 
whiped." This coulcf not have been our John ; his 


respectability and character forbid it ; so do the 
character and habits of his numerous descendants. 
He was a shoemaker by trade, and was more likely 
to be hard at work on his bench, than dallying 
" with maydes." 

Richard Pope. There appears to have been a 
person here by that name, in 1635, probably not 
long after. Farmer says he was brother of Joseph, 
one of the early settlers of Salem. 

El tweed Pomeroy, proprietor in 1633, and first 
Selectman in 1633. Removed to Windsor. 

Mr. Pincheon, mentioned in the list, is the very 
respectable William, of Roxbury, who was among 
the founders of that place, and one of the most im 
portant settlers of Springfield. The following letter 
was written by him from the latter place. 

SPRINGFIELD, the 2 of y e 4 th m. 1645. 
M r Wintrop my best respect rembred the occasion of 
this letter is in y e behalf of one Mary Lewis the bearer 
hereof who hath dwelt w th my sonn Smith sundry yeres : 
& she was seruant to me in dorchester before she came to 
my son : she came to me for Councill in a difficult case & 
I aduised her to make a iourney to you on purpose for 
Counsell : she was maried in wales to a papist that vsed 
her extreme badly : and at last her husband went from her 
& she hath not herd of him thes many yeres & she would 
take aduise whether if god giue her a good opportunity she 
may not marry againe : I asked her if she were free from 
all intanglemente she saith she is and that she will kepe her 
so till she haue liberty granted her to marry by y e magis 
trates : therefore I intreate you so to Consult about her 
case that she may be eather fully set at liberty or smith tyed 
from mariage and not left in doubtfull suspence as now 
she is. 


I haue y e testimony of one Alexander Edwards vrho is 
a member of our Church this 2 d of y e 4. m. 1645. 

Alexander Edwards^ doth testifie that when he liued in 
wales w ch was about 5. y. since, he knew Mary Lewis re 
sorting often to M r wroths ministry where he also was a 
herer : he saith that he knew her cominge often thither for 
about 2. y. space : and in that space she drd often com- 
plaine y 1 her husband was dpted from her, and that she 
could not tell where to find him, & she did vse means in 
inquier him out : when she could here no tidinge of him she 
was aduised by some to come for N. E. & when she p r par- 
ed to come for N. E. Alexander Edwards saith he met! 
her at Bristro [Bristol ?] and y 1 she intended to come in y e 
same ship he did : But some that herd how her conditi. was 
aduised her to returne againe & to sek vp her husband or 
else to aduise w th M r wroth what she might do in the Case : 
accordingly she returned back to inquire after her husband 
and to take further aduice in y e Case : so she lost her pas 
sage in that ship that he came in but yet she came into* 
N. E. y e same yeare in another ship about 6 weeks after so 
that now it is full 7 y. since her husband left her. 

Alexander Edwards also saith that he often heard her 
say in wales that her husband was a Ranke papist and his 
2 sisters and that she liued in continuall danger of her life 
for he did often threaten to do her mischiefe if she would 
not be a papist and do as he did, or else dept from him :. 
and in this regard he saith that M r wroth & diuers other 
godly people did much pitty her case. 

Mary Lewis also saith that M r wroth intreated M r Erbu^ 
ry to write to M r Blindman in her behalfe to desyer him to 
ps her as a sister and to see her placed in some godly 
family : if M r Blindman can rember this passage of M r 
Erburies letter it were euidence that she left y e land & so 

* " The Oath of Aleagence " was administered by Major Pynchon to several of 
the inhabitants of Northampton, Mass., February 8, 1.678, among whom was Alexan 
der Edwards. He died in N. Sept. 4th, 1690. -.See N. E, HisL and Gen. Register, 
vol. iii. p. 400 j vol. iv. p. 26, 


all hopes to find her husband w th Counsell and aduise of 
godly ministers : 

What further testimony she can pduce to proue that her 
husband hath left her for many yeares it is like she will 
search further : one of her witnesses is not at home in our 
Towne at this time : 

So not doubtinge but you will dispatch her & send her 
home w th such aduise as you conceive well be according 
to god. 

The Case of Galeasyns I doe often rember : and I 
thinke is such a case it is lawfull to giue liberty for a 2 d 
mariage : but what to aduise in this case I rather choose 
to leave it to you and such magistrates as you think mete 
to decide y e Case w th all : and so I rest 

yr euer assurred louing ifriene 


The howse of deputies desire o r hono r d Mag sts to make 
choyce of some of themselues to joyne w th y e Speaker 
Majo r Gibbons & Liften te Inncombe to Consider of M r 
Pinchons Line and to returne theire thoughts of it to y e 
Courte. ROB. BRIDGES. 

M r Bradstreet & M r Di h are appointed 
to ioyne in this Courtte. 

Jo WINTHROP : D : Go : 

William Preston. He is in Mr. Savage s list. 
Came to New England in the Truelove, Capt. Gibbs, 
in September, 1635. His wife Marie came with 
him, also his children Elizabeth, born in 1624; 
Sarah, born in 1627 ; Marie, in 1829 ; and Jo , 
in 1632. Mr. Preston was probably the person of 
that name who was among the first settlers of New 

David Price. But little is known of him. Dr. 


Harris has a Daniel also. These may be the same 
person. There was a Francis Price, who had a 
daughter Mary, baptized in Dorchester, July 12, 
1702; son Gomel, baptized July 20, 1704 Jonas 
Humphrey, Jr., had a grand-daughter, Elizabeth 
Price. Francis Price lived where Mr. Poole lived 

Edward Raymond was in Dorchester early; pro 
bably in 1630. Did not remain long. 

Philip Kendall, or Randall, was here in 1633; 
made freeman in 1634; called Goodman. He re 
moved to Windsor. A daughter of his married 
George Phelps. 

Thomas Rawlins (Rollins). He appears to have 
came to Roxbury in 1630, and brought his wife 
Mary and five children with him, viz., Thomas. 
Mary, Joan, Nathaniel and John. His wife Mary 
died in 1639. He married his second wife, widow 
Sarah Murdock, of Roxbury, in 1656. He was in 
Dorchester in 1634 ; may have been here before, 
but attended the Roxbury meeting on account of 
being near that place. He removed from Dorchester 
to Weymouth, and from the latter place to Scituate. 
He was in Scituate previous to 1646, and was that 
year one of the Conohasset partners. He bought 
Anthony Annable s lot in 1642. He died in Boston 
in 1660. He left a house in Boston to his son 
Thomas, and Nathaniel succeeded to his father s 
residence in Scituate. His daughter Mary married 
William Parker, of Scituate, in 1639. Joan married 
Ephraim Kemp ton, in 1645. 

Edward Rosseter, the Assistant, was elected by 


the patentees in London, October, 1629, at the same 
time with Gov. Winthrop. Was of a good family 
in the west of England.* He was one of the prin 
cipal promoters of the formation of the Dorchester 
Company, which came in the Mary and John. He 
accompanied them, and left his home to avoid reli 
gious persecution. He sat down at Dorchester with 
his companions, and attended to his official duties 
as member of the colonial government, until his 
death, October 23, 1630. After this event, the 
name often occurs in the court records and the town 
records, always as Mr. Rosseter Christian name 
being omitted. Mr. Rosseter and Mr. Stoughton are 
the largest grantees of land in 1633. Mr. Rosse- 
ter s farm made the bounds, at Squantum, of Dor 
chester and Mt. Wollaston. This is supposed to 
refer to the son of the Assistant, who lived after 
wards at Combe, in England. Dudley says of Ed 
ward Rosseter, in his letter to the Countess of Lin 
coln, he w r as " a godly man of good estate." One of 
the name lived where Mr. Howard afterwards resid 
ed, and one of them owned a fish house near what 
is now Savin Hill. 

Hugh Rosseter, grantee of eight acres in Dor 
chester, in 1635. 

Bray Rosseter, on the Windsor list, in 1636. 

William Rockwell, freeman in 1630. The first 
deacon with Mr. Gaylord of the Dorchester Church ; 
signed the first land grants of the plantation. Mov 
ed to Connecticut. His wife (probably second) was 

* See Hutchinson. 


Susanna Chapin ; his children were John, Ruth. 
Mary, Samuel, Joseph and Sarah. He had land 
granted him near what is now Savin Hill, June 27, 
1636. By this it appears that he did not go to 
Windsor with the first Company. 

Richard Rocket removed to Braintree, and had a 
son John born in 1641. His wife Agnes died in 
1643. There was a John, also, among the early set 
tlers of Dorchester. 

Thomas Richards was in Dorchester early, remov 
ed to Weymouth, and died there in 1650. His wife 
was named Welthean, and died at Boston in 1679. 
He is not probably the person of that name who 
joined the Ancient and Honorable Artillery, in 
1648, and called Thomas Richards, Esq., of Boston. 
The following order was passed in Dorchester, Feb 
ruary 1, 1634. " It is also ordered that there be a 
sufficient cartway betwixt the rock and Mr. Rich- 
ards s house, or else go through his lot, according 
to a former order." In his will, dated 17th Decem 
ber, 1650, proved 28th Jan., 1650 51, he names 
sons John, James, Samuel, Joseph and Benjamin ; 
and daughters Mary, Ann, Alice and Hannah. Of 
his sons, James only had male issue viz., Thomas, 
who married Joanna, and died Dec. 5, 1714, leaving 
two daughters, Joanna and Mary. This Thomas, 
therefore, grandson of the American ancestor, was 
the last of the family, so far as the name is concerned. 

Thomas Sanford (called Goodman) was in Dor 
chester in 1634 ; was admitted freeman 1637. He 
kept the cows of the plantation in 1635-37. Very 
possibly it was his widow who married Mr. William 


Pynchon, of Roxbury, before his removal to Spring 
field if so, she was widow Frances Smith at the 
time of her marriage with Sanford, for she had a 
son Henry Smith, who " was a godly wise young 
man, and removed to Agawam with his parents." 
The Roxbury church records say Mr. Pynchon, after 
the death of his wife, married Mrs. Frances Sanford, 
a grave matron of the church at Dorchester. 

Matthew Sension was in Dorchester in 1634 ; one 
of the keepers of the cows in 1637. He removed 
to Windsor, but not in the first company. 

John Smith. Born in Lancashire had served 
abroad in the army as quarter-master, and retained 
this title all his life. He came early to Dorches 
ter, where he became freeman and grantee of land 
in 1633, selectman in 1634. He is supposed to 
have returned to England for his family, as Mr. 
Mather makes mention of him and his family as 
fellow passengers in the James in 1635. He had 
been a parishioner of Mr. Mather at Toxtelle before 
coming over, and may have influenced that gentle 
man to prefer the Dorchester invitation. Mr. Smith 
was a brewer, and had a malt-house in Dorchester. 
He filled various offices in the town, and frequently 
for the space of twenty years was employed to run 
out lots. Mr. Smith and Mr. Clemment were a com 
mittee to erect a pillar over Mr. Mather s grave. He 
lived to old age, and died in 1678. Lawrence Smith, 
of Dorchester, was probably his son. His daughter 
Mary married Nathaniel Glover, and after his de 
cease she married Gov. Thomas Hinckley. 

The late Judge John Davis remarked that he had 


seen a manuscript of the Rev. Thomas Prince, who 
was a descendant of Gov. Hinckley, in which Mrs. 
Hinckley is represented as an elegant, excellent and 
accomplished woman. 

Henry Smith was here in 1634. He was the son 
of Mrs. Sanford, who married Mr. Pinchon of Rox- 
bury, and was the " godly wise young man." He 
removed to Springfield. 

George Strange was in Dorchester in 1634, and 
removed to Hingham. 

Capt. Southcote. This name is twice mentioned 
in the memoirs of Capt. Roger Clap. He says, " I 
went to live with a worthy gentleman, Mr. William 
Southcoat, about three miles from Exeter " (Devon). 
Again he says, " On first landing in Charles river, 
I was one of the sentinels our captain a low- 
countryman soldier, one Mr. Southcoat." Winthrop 
says, "June 27, 1631, there came to the governor 
Capt. Southcote of Dorchester, and brought letters"7 
&c. In July, 1631, the Colony Records state, " The 
Court grant liberty to Capt. Southcote to go to Eng 
land, he promising to return with all convenient 
speed," which latter condition he did not probably 
comply with, for the Dorchester Records, Dec. 1632, 
state that " lands that were Southcote s " were 
granted to Horseford and others. 

Thomas and Richard Southcoat, both with the 
title of Mr., applied for freemanship, Oct. 1630. 
They probably both belonged to the Dorchester 
Company, and came from the Western counties, but 
soon returned home, as no record is found again of 
them in New England. Thomas Southcoat, of Dor- 


Chester, Dorsets, was one of the original patentees of 

Israel Stoughton, said to have arrived with the 
first comers, the place of his nativity unknown. He 
first appears on the Dorchester Records as grantee 
of land, April, 1633 ; was admitted freeman, No 
vember, 1633, and was chosen ensign of the Dorches 
ter Band, then commanded by Capt. Mason. The 
position which he occupied in the affairs of the 
colony and the plantation, points him out as a man 
of superior intelligence and large property. He \ 
was doubtless a young man on his arrival, and most 
of his children were born in Dorchester. In his 
will, dated July, 1644, he makes provision for his 
mother, then residing in his family. On the division 
of town lands, his share and Mr. Rossiter s indicate 
these gentlemen as the largest adventurers residing 
in the Dorchester plantation. On the 3d of No 
vember the plantation grants " him leave to erect a 
mill at Neponset Falls, and leave to cut timber on 
their lands to build his mill, and permission to build 
a fish wear near the same. The first General Court 
by deputies, from eight towns, convened May, 1634? 
in which body Stoughton appears as deputy from 
Dorchester, and he then obtains from the Court con 
firmation of all the mill grants he had received from 
Dorchester, upon condition of supporting a suffi 
cient horse bridge over the river, and selling ale- 
wives at five shillings per thousand ; in pursuance 
of which grant he erected a corn mill at the Lower 
Mills, and there ground the first corn ever ground 
by water in New England. At the same Court 


S tough ton and Mr. Henry Wolcott obtained leave to 
look out farms for themselves, probably without the 
limits of the plantation. In September, 1634, the 
Court granted Mr. Stoughton one hundred and fifty 
acres of land eight or nine miles up the Neponset. 
At the September session Ludlow and Stoughton 
were appointed a committee to examine Gov. Win- 
throp s accounts. In January, 1635, Mr. Stough 
ton, having given offence to the Governor and Assist 
ants by publishing a pamphlet denying them some 
of the powers they claimed, was adjudged disabled 
from holding any public office for three years, and 
the Dorchester people petitioned the Court without 
success for a remission of the sentence. In 16356 
he was much engaged in the Connecticut enterprise ; 
but the Court became reconciled in 1636, and he 
was again a member that year. Said to have been 
an active opponent of the Antinomian heresy, which 
assisted the remission of his disability. At the 
election of the Governor and Assistants, May, 1637, 
when the Vane party was defeated, Stoughton was 
chosen Assistant, and his popularity was such that 
he was elected by the Court, over two other candi 
dates, to command the Pequod expedition. He may 
have been selected for this place to act in conjunc 
tion with his old military teacher, Capt. Mason, 
already in command of the Connecticut troops in 
the Pequod country. Stoughton and his forces were 
hospitably received by Roger Williams at Provi 
dence, and derived much benefit from his advice and 
experience in Indian affairs. Stoughton arrived 
soon after the decisive battle at Mystic fort, and 


nearly completed the destruction of the Pequod tribe. 
He here encountered fire-arms for the first time in 
the hands of Indians. The Colonial Government 
proclaimed a thanksgiving, and Stoughton and his 
troops returned home in triumph. In consideration 
of his services in this war, the town relinquished 
his rate for one year. Col. Stoughton and his wife 
were among the first signers of the Church Covenant 
in 1636. He was always of the rigid Puritan school. 
He perhaps officiated sometimes as an officer of the 
church. Lechford, in 1637, mentions Stoughton as 
assisting in administering a church censure at Dor 
chester. He was a member of the synod which tried 
Mrs. Ann Hutchinson, in 1637. In 1639 he served 
with Gov. Endicott in running the Old Colony line, 
and the same year assisted in preparing the general 
laws of the colony. In 1641 he served as commissioner 
to administer the government of New Hampshire. 
Col. Stoughton went to England about his own 
affairs in 1643, on which occasion he became inti 
mate with some of the leaders of the Revolution, 
and determined to devote his services to the Parlia 
mentary cause. He returned home and prepared 
for his purpose, and persuaded sundry others to em 
bark in the same undertaking. He was again in 
London in July, 1644, when he made his will. He 
served as lieutenant-colonel under Rainsboro , until 
his death, which occurred at Lincoln in 1645. He 
left three hundred acres of land to the College. He 
mentions three sons and two daughters in his will 
Israel (died early) ; John (born about 1638, lost at 
sea 1647) ; and William, afterwards Governor of the 



Province. Hannah married James Minot in 1653; 

and Rebecca (bap. Aug. 1641) married Taylor, 

of Boston, father of Lt. Gov. William Taylor. One 

daughter married Danforth, one Nelson, 

and one Tucker. 

Thomas Stoughton, one of the early settlers of 
Dorchester, freeman in 1631. Mentioned in Colony 
Records, March, 1631, as a constable or bailiif of 
Dorchester, and was fined five pounds for undertak 
ing to marry a couple. Was an emigrant to Wind 
sor, and member of the first court held in the River 
Colony in 1637. Descendants numerous in Connec 
ticut and New York. He is called Ancient in the 
list, which signified Ensign. He was a brother of 
Israel Stoughton. 

William Sumner, with Mary his wife, came from 
Burcester, Oxford county, England. Was made a 
freeman in 1637. Their children, William, Roger 
and George, probably came with them. Samuel, 
born in Dorchester, May 18, 1638 ; Increase, Feb 
ruary 23, 1642 ; Joan, who married a Mr. Way 
(probably Aaron); Abigail, died 19(12) 1657; Mary, 
married Nicholas Howe, 19 (11) 1671. Mr. Sumner 
was a very respectable man, and was a representa 
tive to the General Court thirteen years. He died 
1688. His wife died June 7, 1676. 

Thomas Swift was in Dorchester in 1634 ; free 
man May 6, 1635. He was an enterprising man, 
and a quarter-master in troublesome times ; a mem 
ber of Mr. Warham s church ; a maltster by trade. 
His wife was Elizabeth. Their children were 
Thomas, born June 17, 1635, married Elizabeth Vose 


in 1657, and Sarah Clapp in 1676 ; Obadiali, born 
July 16, 1688; Elizabeth, born February 26, 1640; 
Ruth, Aug. 24, 1643 married William Greenough, 
of Boston, Oct. 10, 1660; Joan, married John Ba 
ker, of Boston, Nov. 5, 1657. He died May 4, 
1675. His wife died January 26, 1677. By his 
will it appears that William Sumner and John Ca- 
pen are his brothers in law. 

Joshua Talbot. Since the list was made out, we 
are satisfied there was no such person in town. 

Mr. Stephen Terry was in Dorchester in 1630, 
and was a man of some distinction. He removed to 
Windsor. It appears from the Windsor records 
that he was married in Dorchester, and that his 
daughter Mary was born there, December 31, 1633. 
The rest were born in Windsor John, March 6, 
1637 ; Elizabeth, January 4, 1641 ; Abigail, Sep 
tember 21, 1646. 

John Tilley, it is supposed, came here in 1630; 
was a grantee of four acres at Neponset Neck, and 
a highway laid out for him and William Lovell in 
1633. A freeman in 1635. He may have been the 
person at Cape Ann before Conant. Clap says he 
was killed by the Pequods in 1637. From the 
records it appears he had a brother in Boston ; but 
his name does not appear. 

Thomas Tileston, grantee of land 1634, and often 
afterwards ; freeman 1636 ; died June 24, 1694, 
aged 83. He appears to have been an enterprising 
and useful man. His wife was Elizabeth. His chil 
dren were Timothy, born 1636; Onisephorus, born 
1651 ; Cornelius, who died 20 (5) 1659; Elizabeth, 


born 1639; Naomi; Ruth ; Bathsheba, bora 1649, 
Elizabeth died unmarried ; Naomi probably died 
young ; Ruth married, when she was quite young, 
Richard Denton. He lived but a short time ; then 
she married Timothy Foster, who came from Scitu- 
ate. Bathsheba married John Payson, of Roxbury. 
Timothy owned one half of the tide mill, in Mill 
street, in 1697. It has been in the family to this 
day. It was built by Edward Breck, who sold it to 
William Robinson, and Robinson to Tileston. Oni- 
sephorus succeeded to his father s estate. 

Thomas Thornton was among the earliest settlers, 
probably as early as 1630. He, with Thomas San- 
ford, kept the cows for the town in 1635. He re 
moved to Windsor. This was not the Thomas 
Thornton who was one of the ejected clergy, and 
was minister at Yarmouth about 1663 to 1673. 

Francis Tuthill, or Tuchell, was in Dorchester in 
1634. It is supposed the name is now Twitchell. 

Nicolas Upsall. A freeman May 15, 1631 ; gran 
tee of land 1633; bailiff and rater 1634; licensed 
inn-keeper 1636, 1637 and 1638 ; selectman in 1638 
and 42 ; an original member of the Ancient and 
Honorable Artillery Company in 1637. He moved 
to Boston (see Hutchinson, vol. i., p. 199) and joined 
the church there 28 (5) 1644. His wife w r as Doro 
thy. His children were Anna, born February, 
1635 ; Elizabeth, February, 1637, married William 
Greenough, July 4, 1652; Susanna, born 7 (12) 1639, 
married Joseph Cock Nov. 10, 1659 ; Experience, 
bom 19 (1) 1640, died Aug. 2, 1659. The town re 
cords say "June 27, 1636," "It is ordered that 


Nicholas Upsal shall keep a house of entertainment 
for strangers." Mr. Upsal died in 1677, aged 70. 
His wife died Sept. 18, 1675, aged 73 years. They 
were both buried in Copp s Hill grave-yard. 

In 1656, the General Court fined Mr. Upsal 20 
and imprisoned him, for his countenancing and 
befriending Quakers. In 1661, "on occasion of 
his drawing many Quakers & others affected to that 
sect thither" [to the place of his imprisonment], he 
is removed to Castle Island, " there to remain vpon 
his own charge." His wife petitioned for his release 
soon after, upon which the court ordered that he 
" be moued ovt of prison forthwith to ye house of 
John Capen, in Dorchester, and there be confined a 
prisoner vntil ye latter end of ye 8th moneth next." 
How long his confinement lasted we cannot state, 
but the next year, 1662, the court record recites, 
" Nicholas Vpshall being formerly sentenced to per 
petual Imprisonment, & obteyning a Reprivall, hath 
greatly abused their lenity, doe therefore Order him 
to be Confined again to ye house of John Capen.". 
By " a reprivall " we are to understand banishment ; 
for he was sentenced to remain in prison until the 
fine was paid, or if he would not pay it, his effects 
were ordered to be seized by the marshal ; but, they 
say, " ye fine being paid, he shall depart this Juris 
diction within one moneth, and not returne Vnder 
ye poenalty of Imprisonment," &c. 

In that rare book, " Persecutors Maul d with 
their own Weapons," is this passage. 

" Nicholas Up shall, an old Man full of years, see 
ing their [the authorities of Boston] Cruelty to the 


harmless Quakers, & that they had condemned some 
of them to dye, both he elder Wisewell, or other 
wise Deacon Wisewell, Members of the Church in 
Boston, bore their Testimonies in publick against 
their brethrens horid Cruelty to the said Quakers. 
And the said Upshall declared, That he did look at it 
as a sad fore-runner of some heavy Judgment to follow 
upon the Country ; Which they took so ill at his 
hands, that they fined him Twenty pounds, three 
Pound more at another of their Courts, for not com 
ing to their Meeting, would not abate him one 
Grote, but imprisoned him and then banished him 
on pain of Death, which was done in a time of such 
extream bitter weather for Frost, Snow and Cold, 
that had not the Heathen Indians in the Wilderness 
Woods taken compassion on his Misery, for the 
winter season, he in all likelihood had perished, 
though he had then in Boston a good Estate in 
houses Land, Goods Money, as also Wife 
Children, but not suffered to come unto him, nor he 
to them." p. 41. 

John Warham, one of the ministers accompany 
ing the West Country Company in the Mary and 
John, in 1630. Had been ordained by a bishop, and 
settled at Exeter, Devon, and came recommended by 
Mr. White. (See letters from George Cradock.) 
Nonconformity doubtless occasioned his desire to 
emigrate, and his example, as much as his precept, 
greatly aided the decision of others. After spend 
ing nearly six years in Dorchester, he went with a 
large portion of his church to Windsor, where he 
preached thirty-four years, until his death in 1670. 


Gov. Winthrop speaks of the death of Mrs. War- 
ham in December, 1634.* 

Henry Way arrived from Bristol in company with 
Roger Williams, February 8, 1631, in thfe Lyon, 
Capt. Pierce. He lost a son overboard on the pas 
sage. Was named with the first recorded grantees of 
land in Dorchester, 1633. His three sons born in 
England, George, Richard and Aaron, lived in Dor 
chester. By the church record it appears he lived 
where " Capt. Breck s cyder mills " afterwards stood. 
He died in 1667, aged 84 years. His wife Eliza 
beth died 23 (4) 1665, aged 84. 

Bray Wilkins was born in 1610. It appears that 
he came from Lynn to Dorchester. In 1638, Mr. 
Wilkins had liberty from the General Court " to 
set up a house and keepe a ferry over Naponset Ry- 
ver and to have a penny a person, to bee directed by 
Mr. Stoughton and Mr. Glover." This ancient ferry 
was from the ridge in Quincy to Sling Point in 
Dorchester, about half way between Neponset and 
Granite bridges, some remains of which may be now 
seen. John Wilkins, baptized in Dorchester in 
1642, was undoubtedly his son. Lydia, probably 
his daughter, born in 1644, married Mr. Mills. Mr. 
Wilkins removed from Dorchester to Salem as early 
as 1654, and with John Gingle purchased Mr. Bel- 
lingham s farm. He owned land in Dorchester as 
late as 1676, and sold some of his property that year 
to Joshua Henshaw. When in Dorchester, he lived 
in the place afterward occupied by Eben r Williams, 
and near the present residence of Richard Clapp. 

* See Mather s Magnalia. 


Roger Williams was one of the earliest settlers of 
Dorchester. He requested to be made freeman Oc 
tober 19, 1630. He went to Windsor probably in 
1635. *From there he appears to have removed to 
Boston. He was one of the selectmen of Dorches 
ter in 1635 ; joined the Ancient and Honorable Ar 
tillery Company in 1647. He married Lydia, the 
daughter of James Bates, of Dorchester. His fami 
ly appear to have remained at Dorchester while he 
was roving about. Nathaniel Williams, probably 
his son, was baptized February 6, 1640. Ebenezer, 
his son, was born January, 1649, and was baptized 
by Mr. Mather. Roger and Ebenezer were the an 
cestors of Lieut. Gov. Samuel T. Armstrong, through 
his mother. 

David Wilton probably came in 1633, and re 
moved to Windsor or Northampton, and perhaps 

Henry Wolcott came in the Mary and John in 
1630, with four sons and two daughters. He was 
from Tolland, Somerset County, and a man of supe 
rior abilities and good estate. He was grantee of 
lands in Dorchester in April, 1633, and probably 
before. He was selectman in 1634. In May, 1634, 
the General Court granted to Wolcott and Stough- 
ton the privilege of selecting farms for themselves. 
Wolcott embarked early in the Connecticut pro 
ject, and removed, in 1636, with his family to Wind 
sor. He and his descendants have ever since been 
prominent citizens of Connecticut. He died in 1655, 
aged 78 years. 

Henry Wright s wife was Elizabeth. They had 


a daughter Mary born in Dorchester, April, 1635 ; 
a son Samuel, February 14, 1636. He received a 
division of the Neck lands in 1637. 

John Whitneld should be Witchfield. Was in 
Dorchester probably about 1630, and removed to 


Additional Settlers previous to 1636. 

IN addition to the names in the preceding chap 
ter, other individuals were in the town previous to 
1636. The following, with brief notices respecting 
them, are all we have been able to obtain. 

John Crab came to Dorchester with the first set 
tlers, and afterwards removed to Connecticut. 

John Gaylord, or Gallard. Prince, in his Annals, 
mentions Gaylord as being in Dorchester in 1632. 

Nathaniel Gillet came to Dorchester with Messrs. 
Maverick and Warham in 1630. He was admitted 
freeman in 1634, and removed to Windsor in 1635. 

Elizabeth Gillet joined the church at Dorchester, 
29 (8) 1641. 

Thomas Gunn was one of the early settlers of 
Dorchester, and removed to Windsor. 

William Hayden came to Dorchester in 1630, 
became freeman in 1634, removed to Hartford, and 
from there to Windsor in 1642, and from Windsor 
to Killingworth in 1664. His children were Dan 
iel, born Sept. 2, 1640, died March 22, 1713; Na- 


thaniel, born Feb. 2, 1643, died at Killingwouth ; 
Mary, born June 6, 1648. 

William Hill was an early settler of Dorchester ; 
had a grant of land there Nov. 2, 1635. He re 
moved to Windsor, but probably not with the first 
company. He may have been a brother of John 
Hill of Dorchester. 

Reynolds Jenkins came to Dorchester in 1630, 
and was killed by an Indian at Cape Porpoise in 

Thomas Miller was in Dorchester early. He re 
moved to Boston before 1665. 

Henry Moseley w r as in Dorchester in 1630; had 
a house lot granted him in Dorchester, September, 
1637. Farmer says he was in Braintree in 1638. 
He joined the Ancient and Honorable Artillery 
Company in 1643. Edward Breck, of Dorchester, 
sold a house and garden in Boston to his son Robert 
in 1654, which had formerly belonged to Henry 
Moseley. This renders it probable that he had lived 
at one time in Boston. It is probable that he w r as 
a relative, if not a brother, of John, who was in 
Dorchester in 1630. Henry had a son Samuel born 
in 1641, who is presumed to be the Captain Samuel 
who frequently served in the wars against the In 
dians, and who was very inveterate against them. 

Moses Maverick w T as an early inhabitant of Dor 
chester a grantee of land in 1634. He may have 
been the Moses who was in Salem in 1634, and in 
Marblehead in 1648. 

Rev. George Moxon was a member of the church 
in Dorchester in 1636; he was educated in Sydney 


College, and was one of the ejected ministers. He 
was the first minister of Springfield, Mass. ; he re 
turned to England, and died there Sept. 15, 1687, 
aged 85 years. 

Roger Matthews was a grantee of land in Dor 
chester, Feb. 10, 1634. By the church records it 
appears he lived in Dorchester and sold to Ebenezer 
Williams. He probably lived near the place where 
Richard Clapp now lives. 

Thomas Moore was one of the early settlers of 
Dorchester, and removed to Windsor. 

Richard Phelps was an early settler of Dorches 
ter ; probably the father of George, Samuel, and 

Samuel Phelps came to Dorchester in 1630, and 
removed to Windsor. 

Robert Pierce came to Dorchester in 1630. He 
married Ann, the daughter of John Grenway. He 
died Jan. 11, 1664. His wife died Dec. 11, 1695, 
aged about 104 years. He had a daughter Debo 
rah, born (12) 1639, died 15 (2) 1640. He left a 
son Thomas, who succeeded to his estate ; and a 
daughter Mary, who married Thomas Haven, of 

Tradition points out the well on the banks of the 
river, about thirty rods northeast of the Neponset 
Railroad Station, in Dorchester, w^here Robert first 
settled. He afterwards built the house where Lewis 
Pierce, Esq., one of his descendants, now lives, on 
Adams street, and in whose possession some of the 
bread his ancestor Robert brought from England is 
still preserved. 


William Poole came to Dorchester in 1630. Af 
ter remaining in Dorchester several years, he remov 
ed to Taunton, but returned again to Dorchester in 
1672. He was town clerk of Dorchester, and for 
many years a schoolmaster. He was highly esteem 
ed by his cotemporaries, and spoken of in the 
records as a " sage, reverend, and pious man of 
God." It was probably his son Timothy, who Mr. 
Savage (1 Winthrop, 252) speaks of as being drown 
ed at Taunton, Dec. 15, 1667. His sister, Elizabeth 
Poole, was a great patron and " virgin mother " of 

His son Theophilus was baptized at Dorchester, 
3 (4) 1660, he then being a member of the church 
at Taunton. He died Feb. 24, 1674. Jane Poole, 
probably his widow, died 1690 or 1691, leaving 
children John, Bethesda Filer and Rebecca Hench 
man. The following is a copy of the epitaph on 
his tomb stone. 

" Ye Epitaph of William Pole which he hemself made while 
he was yet liuing in Remembrance of his own death & left it to 
be ingraven on his Tomb y l so being dead he might warn poste 
red or a resemblance of a dead man bespeaking y e reader. 

Ho passenger tis worth thy paines too stay 

& take a dead mans lesson by y e way 

I was what now thou art & thou shalt be 

what I am now what odds twix me & thee 

Now go thy way but stay take one word more 

Thy staff, for ought thou knowest, stands next y e dore 

Death is ye dore yea dor e of heaven or hell 

Be warnd, Be armed Beliue Repent Fariewell." 

Richard Pope was in Dorchester about 1635, but 
did not remain long after. Farmer says he was a 
brother of Joseph, one of the early settlers of Salem. 


Oliver Purchase probably came to Dorchester 
with those who arrived from Weymouth, Eng., in 
July, 1633. He removed from Dorchester to Lynn, 
which town he represented in the General Court 13 
years, between 1660 and 1690. He was elected, but 
declined the office of Assistant in 1685. It is sup 
posed he removed to Concord in 1691, and died 
there Nov. 20, 1701, aged 88. 

According to one of the Church Records, one of 
the Mr. Purchases lived where John Capen after 
wards lived. 

William Purchase was an early settler of Dor 
chester, and a grantee of land February, 1635 ; pro 
bably a brother of Oliver. There was a Widow 
Purchase in Dorchester, who had sixteen acres of 
land granted by the Town, Jan. 4, 1635, and a divi 
sion of the Neck lands in 1637, She may have been 
the mother of Oliver and John. A Hannah Pur 
chase was baptized in Dorchester, March 12, 1640. 

Edward Rainsford, a brother of Lord Chief Jus 
tice Rainsford, came to Dorchester in 1633 ; made 
freeman in 1637; removed to Boston, arid became 
an Elder in the Church there. Rainsford s Island, 
in Boston Harbor, undoubtedly was named for him. 

Abraham Randall came to Dorchester in 1630, 
and removed to Windsor. 

Edward Raymond came to Dorchester in 1630. 
He was here in 1632, but did not remain long. 

Mr. Russell was in Dorchester early, but did not 
remain long. His Christian name not ascertained. 

John Rocket was here probably previous to 1636 ,* 
possibly a brother of Richard, of Braintree. 


Isaac Shelden was in Dorchester in 1634. He 
removed to Windsor as early as 1640, and from 
thence to Northampton. 

John Strong, a son of Richard, of Taunton, Eng 
land, eame with the first settlers, probably in the 
Mayy ancfc John. His wife and infant child died 
soon after landing. In 1630 he married Abigail, 
daughter of Thomas Ford, at Dorchester. He re 
moved to Hingharn previous to 1636. From Hing- 
ham he removed to Taunton, and from thence to 
Northampton as early as 1659. He had seventeen 
chil dren. His sons also had numerous children 
viz., Thomas, fifteen ; Jedediah, twelve ; and Samuel, 
twelve ; and his grandson Jonathan had seventeen. 
He was the ancestor of Governor Caleb Strong. 

Elder John Strong died at Northampton in 1699, 
aged 94 years. 

John Sougth died in Dorchester in 1635. 
Sylvester. Mr. Jones was granted twenty acres 
of land in January, 1636, in exchange for that 
which was Sylvester s. 

Richard* Vose came in 1630, a nd removed to 
Windsor ; was probably % brother of Robert. 

Robert Vos. Tradition says he tvas brother to 
Richard. In 1654 he purchased the farm which had 
been under the improvement of Mr. John Glover , of 
Mr.- Glover s heirs, of about one hundred and seven 
ty-six ^cres. He removed on to that farm, and livetl 
and died there. A part of the farm is now in the 
possession of his descendants, the heirs of Col. Josiah 
H. Vose. The cellar in the fork of the road, opposite 
Aunt Sarah s brook, marks where the original house 


stood. He died Oct. 16, 1683, aged 84 years; his 
wife having died in October, 1675. His son Edward 
died Jan. 29, 1716, aged 80 years. Some of the 
land he had of his father, near the south foot of 
Brush Hill, is now in the possession of his descend^ 
ants, in the family of the late Jesse Vose. His son 
Thomas appears to have been -a man of more than 
ordinary standing for a common farmer, as the Town 
Records, while he kept them, assumed a systematic 
form. The late Governor Robbins says he was a 
man of much note in his day. He -died April 3, 
1708, aged 67 years. His daughter Elizabeth maiv 
ried Thomas Swift, 9 (10) 1657. She died Jan. 15,, 
1675, leaving no children. His daughter Martha 
married a Mr. Buckniinster. She was a -widow ai 
the death of her father, in 1683. 

Henry Vose, who had a daughter Elizabeth born 
in Dorchester, 8 -(6) 1661 , and Ebenezer ^Vose, 
whose death is recorded in the Milton Records as 
having taken place in 1716, aged 80, are both sup.- 
posed to be sons of Robert. 

Robert Winchell was in Dorchester in 1635, and 
removed to Windsor. He ,kad -children ^- Phoebe, 
baptized March 29, 1638; Mary, Sept. 5, 1641 ; 
David, Oct. 22, 1643; Joseph, April 5, 1646; Maiv 
tha, June 18, 1648; Benjamin, July 1,1, 1652. Mr. 
Winchell died Jan, 21, H66.7. 

George Way, supposed to b,e a .son of Henry. 
He received a part of the Neck lands in 1637. 

Edward White came fro,m Braip,bropk, in Kent, to 
Dorchester, with his wife Martha and two 
.ters, in the Abigail Hopewelj, from Condon, 


1635. Mr. White was born in 1593, his wife in 
1596; his daughter Martha in 1625, and Marvin 
1627. His son James joined the church in 1662. 
He married Sarah Baker, a daughter of Richard, 
22 (12) 1664; died Nov. 11, 1713. 

John Whitcomb came to Dorchester early, al 
though possibly not previous to 1635. It is sup 
posed that he came from Dorchester, England, and 
was the son of Simon, who was chosen one of the 
Assistants in England, but never came to this coun 
try. He removed to Scituate as early as 1640, 
where he owned a large farm near North River. 
He sold his farm to Thomas Hicks. He removed to 
Lancaster, and died there Sept. 24, 1662. His chil 
dren were Katharine, who married Rodolphus 
Ellms, of Scituate, in 1644, and left a large poste 
rity ; John removed to Lancaster with his father ; 
Robert remained at Sgituate ; James settled in Bos 
ton, and owned the land where the Tremont House 
now stands. It is supposed that James favored the 
cause of Gov. Sir Edmund Andros, when he was at 
the head of the government, and that he subse 
quently left the country for England. 


.Second Emigration from England. 

IN 1635, there -arrived in Massachusetts -many 
ships with passengers from England, and the Dor*- 
(Chester Plantation attracted its full share of them. 


Besides .those who came with "Mr. Mather, in the 
James, from Bristol, in 1635, the .names of Dorches 
ter settlers are found in four other vessels from Lon- 
vdon the same year (see Savage s Gleanings, Massa^ 
chusetts Historical Collections). 

These arrivals greatly promoted the Connecticut 
-movement, by furnishing purchasers for the in> 
provements of those intending to migrate. And 
the same year that deprived the Town of many of 
,her most valued inhabitants, furnished accessions to 
the population>of a more permanent character. New 
names continue to appear upon the .records until 
1640, vwken the political changes in the mother 
country arrested the tide of .emigration. 

The following may be regarded as a near approach 
to a correct list of the second emigration from Eu 
rope, which occurred about t]ie time of Mr. Mater s 
arrival and settlement. 

Humphrey Atherton, iRichard Evans 

..George Aldridge .Patience Foster and son 3 
Richard Baker Hopestill } 

Xfames Bates Barnabas Power 

.William Blake John Farnham 

Nehemiah Bourne Joseph Farnsworth 

Edward Bieck Benjamin Fenn. 

Jonathaji Burr Robert Fuller 

Nicholas Butler John Gill 

Thomas Bird John j Gilbe*t 

.Robert Badcocjc ^John Gornhill 

Roger Bjllings Thomas Hawkins 

Edward Bullock Richard Hawes 

William Barber Jeremy Houchin 

Thomas Clarke Robert Howard 

William Clarke Jonas Humphries 

Edward Clap Nathaniel Holder 

Nicholas Clap Thomas Jones 

Thomas Dickerman Edward Johnson 

Thomas Davenport John Kinsley 


Thomas Kinnersley David Selleck 

Thomas Lake Clement Topliff 

Thomas Lambert Thomas Tolman 

William Lane William Trescott 

.Richard Leeds .Ralph Tompkins 

Thomas Lewis Jeffry Turner 

Richard Lippincott James Trowbridge 

Richard Mather Thomas Trott 

Thomas Makepeace Thomas Tread well 

Ambrose Martin Nathaniel Wales 

Jno. Maudesley George Weekes 

Thomas Miller John Wiswall 

Edmund Munnings Thomas Wiswall 

Goddman Mead Henry Withington 

Thomas Millett John Whitcomb 

.Samuel Newman John Whipple 

Nathaniel Patten Michael Willis 

William Pond Theophilus Wilson 

William Preston Henry Woodward 

Daniel Price Richard Wright 

William Robinson Thomas Waterhouse 

William Read .Nicholas Wood. 
John Righy 

Humphrey Atherton. The first occurrence of his 
name on the -Church Records is in 1636. Farmer 
says he came .from Lancashire, but gives no autho 
rity for it. ne of his .descendants, Charles H. 
Atherton, says he arrived in Boston in the ship 
James, Capt. Taylor, August .7, 1635, and states he 
was married when between fourteen and fifteen years 
of age, his wife then being between thirteen and 
fourteen, and that they brought children with them, 
but does not give any authority for the statement. 
No record by which his age could be ascertained 
has ever been found ; but as, he was admitted free- 
:man, and -was -a grantee of the Neck lands, in 1637> 
.he must have arrived at<his majority at that time. 

He early showed a decided taste for military 
affairs, and ^oon became.a member of the Ancient 


and Honorable Artillery Company, was its captain 
from 1650 to 1658, and commenced the first train 
iband formed in Dorchester in 1644:. He command 
ed the Suffolk Regiment, with the title of Ma 
jor General, and .was the chief military officer in 
New England. He served many years as Selectman 
and Town Treasurer, and was deputy to the General 
Court in 1638 and 41. In 1659 he was ctiosen 
."Speaker while he represented the town of Spring 
field (inhabitancy not then being requisite for a 
^deputy). He was afterwards an Assistant. 

He was much respected for his religious charac 
ter and public spirit, and often employed by the 
* colonial government in civil and ^military affairs. 
He had great experience and skill in the treatment 
of the Indians, with whom his public duties brought 
him in frequent contact. He manifested much 
humanity and sympathy for their ignorant and de 
graded condition, but exercised great energy and 
decision of ^character when necessary. His efforts 
sto instruct them \were referred to in the New Eng 
land Confederation, and Eliot applied to him in 
behalf of the Neponset .tribe. He assisted Lieut. 
Clap in laying out for them a tract of land at Pun- 
kapog, not exceeding six thousand acres. In 1644 
he was sent, with Captains Johnson and Cooke, to 
Narraganset, to arrest and itry Samuel Gorton for 
heresy. It is hoped that Gorton s complaint of his 
treatment on his way to Boston is exaggerated ; for 
he^ays, in passing through Dorchester, a large con 
course of persons assembled, <.with several ministers, 
to witness the passage of the troops,, and that the 


prisoners were stationed apart, and volleys of mus 
ketry fired over their heads as a token of victory. 

He was employed in several expeditions against 
-the Narraganset Indians ; and when they became 
tributary to Massachusetts, he was several times 
sent to collect the tribute of wampum. He and Ed 
ward Tomlin-s were sent to treat with Miantinomo, 
a sachem of the Narragansets, and questioned him 
on the Ten Commandments. 

In 1645 the commissioners of the United Coh> 
nies appointed a council of war, and placed Capt. 
Standish at its head. Mason, of Connecticut, 
.Leverett and Atherton, of Massachusetts, were bis 

Captain Jehnson, author of the Wonder-working 
Providence, speaks of Atherton as a lively, coura 
geous man, and says, " Altho he be slow of speech, 
yet is he down jright for the business, one, of cheerful 
spirit, and intire for the country." 

His death occurred Sept. 16, 1661, by falling 
from his horse at the south part of Boston, and his 
character and station are commemorated in the fol 
lowing poetic effusion from his grave-stone. 

.Here lyes ovr Captaine, & Maior of Svffolk was withall : } 

A Godly Majistrate was he, and Maior Generall, [crave . 

Two Trovps of Hors with him heare came, svch worth his love did 

Ten Companyes of Foot also movrning marcht to his grave. 

Let all that Read be sure to keep the Faith as he has don. 

With Christ he lives now Crown d, his name was Hvmpry Atherton. 

He lived on the south side of the way to the Calf 
Pasture, now Pond street, near where that street 
intersects with .the Turnpike. His children were **** 


Jonathan; Rest, born 1639, married Obadiah Swift, 
15 (1) 1660-1; Increase, baptized 2 (11) 1641, 
died at sea ; Thankful, born 1644, married Thos. 
Bird of Dorchester, 2 (2) 1665 ; Hope, born 1646, 
was minister of Hadley ; Consider, married Ann 
Anibal, 19 (10) 1671; Watching, born 1651, mar 
ried Elizabeth Rigbee, Jan. 23, 1678; Patience, 
born 1654; Mary, married Joseph Weeks, 9 (7) 
1667. Charles II. says there was a Katherine, and 
that there were twelve children in all. Admin 
istration was granted his oldest son Jonathan, and 
Timothy Mather, James Throwbridge and Obadiah 
Swift, three of his sons-in-law. His inventory was 

Richard Baker joined the church in 1639 ; made 
freeman May 18, 1642 ; was one of the early grantees 
ef lands ; one of tfhe raters iia 1647, 50 and 60 ; a 
.Selectman in 1653 ; constable in 163 ; was once 
chosen a ruling elder, but it does not appear that 
he accepted ; was a member of the Artillery Com 
pany in 1658. Pie married Faith, tte daughter of 
Elder Henry Witbmgton (probably after his arrival 
in this country). He died Oct. 25, 1689. His wife 
died Feb. 3, 1689. He lived in the part of the town 
now known as Savin Hill, and was owner of a large 
real estate in Dorchester a piece of which is now 
in possession of his descendants near his homestead 
at the place mentioned. His son John married Pre 
served Trott, 11 (5) 1667. James died a bachelor, 
March 30, 1721, aged 69. Mary, born 27 (2) 1643, 
married Samuel Robinson. Thankful married Wil 
liam Griggs. Hannah, born 9 (11) 1662, married 


John Wiswell, May 6, 1685. Sarah, born 12 (5) 
1668, married James White. Elizabeth married 
Pratt, of Weymouth. 

James Bate, or Bates, having the title of Mr. 
prefixed to his name, sailed in the Elizabeth, Capt. 
Stagg, from England, in April, 1635, with his wife 
Alice and several children. He is styled, in the list 
of passengers, husbandman. He was born in 1582, 
joined the church in 1636, was made freeman in 
1636, a selectman in 1637, 38 and 51, and repre 
sented Hingham in 1641. His son Richard lived in 
Sid Town Kent, Old England, and was named a 
kind of trustee in his father s will. He had a son 
James, born in 1626, who lived in Dorchester, and 
settled his father s estate here, to account to his 
brother Richard in England for the same. His 
daughter Margaret, born 1623, married Christopher 
Gibson. Mary, born 1618, married Hopestill Foster. 
Lydia, born 1615 ; James, 1626. He left -the wife 
of Gabriel Mead (<w hose name-was Johanna) 20. She 
may have been a daughter. In his will he left Mr. 
Mather 20. Me was probably a brother of Ed 
ward Bates, who came in the same vessel and settled 
at Weymouth and of Clement, who settled at 

William Blake was born in England in 1594, and 
came with his wife Agnes to Dorchester, about the 
same time with Mr. Mather, probably in the same 
ship. He joined the church in 1636 ; was a grantee 
of land in 1637, and at several other times prior to 
1656 ; was admitted freeman, March 14, 1633-39, 
and was, a selectman in 1645, 47 and 51. He was 


also " Recorder for y e Towne, Clerk of y e Writs for y? 
Co. of Suffolk, 1656," in which office he continued 
to his death, on the 25 (8) 1663. His children were 
William, born 1620, died in Milton in 1703 ; 
James, born 1623, died June 28, 1100 ; John, died 
in Boston in 1688, without issue ; Edward, died in 
Milton, 1692 ; Ann, married Jacob Legar, of Boston. 
His wife Agnes died July 22, 1618. By his will, 
dated Sept. 3, 1661, he gives " Vnto y e Towne of 
Dorchester, 20, to be bestowed for y e repairing of 
y e Burying Place, so y l swine and other vermine 
may not Anoy y e graues of y e saints." 

Nehemiah Bourne and his wife Hannah were ad 
mitted to the church in I6&9. He was a land 
holder and a member of the Artillery Company in 
1638, and removed to Boston ii* 1640. Having a 
taste for military affairs, he accompanied Col. , 
Stoughton to England in 1644, and there became a 
major with Col. Stoughton in Rainsboro s regi 
ment in Cromwell 1 s army. After the death of 
Stoughton he returned to Boston, where his family 
remained during his absence. He was in England 
again in 1655 and 1661. He was called by Win- 
throp a ship carpenter. He bought his house in 
Boston of Thomas Savage, Jr. His son Nehemiah 
was born in 1641. 

Edward Breck came from Ashton, Lancashire, r|~ 
England, probably with Mr. Mather, in 1635. He 
joined the church in 1636 ; made freeman in 1639 ; 
was a selectman in 1642, and for several years after 
wards. He bought Mr. Burr s land in 1642. His 
wife (probably his second) was Isabel!, the widow of 


John Rigby. He lived on what is now called Adams 
street, very near where the Hon. John Howe since 
lived, and built the mill on Smelt Brook Creek, now 
known as the tide mill, or Tileston s mill. He is 
styled yeoman, and appears to have been a man of 
distinction. He died Nov. 2, 1662. His widow 
Isabell married Anthony Fisher, of Roxbury, for her 
third husband, Nov. 14, 1663 he being, at the time 
of the marriage, about 72 years of age. 

His children were Robert, who was admitted 
freeman in 1649, settled in Boston, and lived near 
the new meeting-house ; John, born 1651, lived in 
Dorchester, had the title of captain, and died Feb. 
17, 1690 ; Mary, baptized 18 (6) 1638, married 
Samuel Pierce, 9 (11) 1666; Elizabeth, married 

John Minott ; Susannah, married Blake, and 

afterwards John Harris, March 20, 1674. Isabell 
Fisher, as executrix, sold one half of the mill her 
former husband (Edward Breck) built, to Timothy 
Foster, in 1671, with land adjoining, 

Jonathan Burr was born at Redgrave, in Suffolk, 
and graduated at Corpus Christi College in 1623. 
He preached at Horning, in Suffolk, and for a while 
was rector of the church at Reckingshall, where he 
was silenced. He then came to Dorchester with his 
wife and three children, and there signed the church 
covenant in December, 1639. He was invited to 
settle as colleague with Mr. Mather, but these gen 
tlemen differing upon some points, a council of ten 
ministers and two magistrates was called in Feb 
ruary, 1640, who, after a session of four days, 
reported that both Mr. Mather and Mr. Burr had 


cause for humility, and advised a reconciliation. He 
was settled as colleague with Mr. Mather in Feb 
ruary, 1640, and died August 9, 1641, aged 37 yrs. 
He was said to have been an excellent scholar and 
an eloquent divine, with a character above reproach. 
His children who came from England with him, 
were Jonathan, who graduated at Harvard ; John 
and Simon. His daughter Mary was born soon 
after their arrival in this country. He probably 
lived upon the margin of Jones s Hill. His widow, 
Frances, married the Hon. Richard Dummer, and 
died at Newbury, Nov. 19, 1682, aged 70 years. 

Nicholas Butler came from Eastwell, in Kent, and 
was styled yeoman. He embarked, with his wife, 
three children and five servants, at Sandwich, in the 
Hercules, June, 1637.* He joined the church and 
was made freeman March 14, 1638-9. He had a 
grant of land at Dorchester Neck in 1637, and was 
proprietor in the great lots in 1647. The brook 
which crosses Cottage street was called Butler s 
Brook, from him. His wife s name was Joyce. In 
1651, he deputed his son John his attorney, and 
went to Martha s Vineyard, where he died, leaving 
children. He sold his property in Dorchester to 
William Ware, in 1652. He owned land on Dun 
can s Hill, now Spurr s or Codman s Hill. 

Thomas Bird was a member of the church in 
Dorchester in 1642; was bailiff in 1654. He was 
a tanner by occupation. His wife Ann died August 

* It is probable that those persons who entered as his servants, assum 
ed that title to escape the vigilance of the pursuivants, [See Savage s 




20, 1673. He died June 8, 1667. His son Thomas 
was born July 4, 1640 ; married Thankful, the 
daughter of Gen. Humphrey Atherton, May 2, 1665, 
and died January 3, 1709, aged 69. John, horn 
April 11, 1641, married Elizabeth, and died August 
7, 1632, aged 91. James, born 1647; Sarah, bap 
tized 12 (6) 1649, died 24 (2) 1669 ; Joseph, died 
26 (7) 1665. 

Eobert Babcock was in Dorchester as early as 1656. 
His son Nathaniel was bora 14 (1) 1657-8; Caleb, 
1660 ; Ebenezer, baptized 5 (5) 1663 ; Hopestill, 
8 (9) 1663 ; Hannah, 28 (3) 1665. He was an 
assessor in 1656. In March, 1669, he made an 
acknowledgment before the church in Dorchester, 
for taking up and divulging reports against the llev. 
Mr. Emerson. He lived in that part of Dorchester 
which is now Milton, and the lower part of the 
brook, now known as Aunt Sarah s Brook, is styled, 
in the old records, Robert Babcock s river. The 
apparently oldest record on the Milton Town Re 
cords was made by him as recorder. 

He had a brother George Babcock. 

Roger Billings joined the church in 1640, and 
Was admitted freeman in 1643. With John Gill he 
bought a hundred acres of land from the top of Mil 
ton Hill, northerly to the river, of the widow of 
Israel Stoughton, in 1656. He afterwards removed 
to Mr. Glover s farm, near Squantum, where he died 
in 1683. His first wife was Mary, and by her he 
had a daughter Mary, born 10 (5) 1643, and proba 
bly a son Joseph, whom he mentions in his will. 
By his second wife Hannah, he had Mary, baptiz- 


ed 23 (9) 1645, who married Samuel Belcher, 15 (10) 
1663; Hannah, married John Penniman, 24 (12) 
1664 ; Ebenezer and Samuel, baptized 26 (8) 1651 ; 
Roger, born 18 (9) 1657 ; Elizabeth, 27 (8) 1659, 
probably married Nathaniel Wales ; Zipora, bom 
21 (3) 1662, died October 8, 1676 ; Jonathan, died 
January 14, 1677. His wife Hannah died 25 (3) 

Edward Bullock, husbandman, born in 1603, pro 
bably in the county of Kent, embarked at Sand 
wich in the Elizabeth, Capt. Stagg, April, 1635. 
He had a share in the Neck Lands in 1637. He 
returned to England in 1649, leaving a document 
with directions about his property in case he never 
returned (which he probably never intended to do), 
in which he says, " Having by the providence of 
God a calling and determination to go to England 
with all expedicon, and not knowing how the Lord 
of heaven and earth may dispose of me," &c. &c. 
He left directions and requests for Capt. Humphrey 
Atherton, Augustin demons (Clement), and George 
Weeks, his neighbors and friends, overseers of his 
property, which his wife was to have until his de 
cease, then to go to his daughter-in-law Hannah 
Johnson. He lived at Fox Point. Had not re 
turned from England in 1656. 

Nicholas Clap was a son of Richard Clap, of Dor 
chester, England, and was born in 1612. He was 
a cousin of Roger and Edward, and a brother of 
Thomas and John. It appears to have been through 
the influence of Capt. Roger that he came to this 
country. He held some of the most responsible offi- 


ces in town, and was a deacon of the church. His 
first wife was Sarah, a sister of Eoger and Edward ; 
his second, Abigail, widow of Robert Sharp. He 
died suddenly in his barn, Nov. 24, 1679. His chil 
dren were Sarah, born Dec. 31, 1637; Nathaniel, 
born Sept. 15, 1640, and died May 16, 1707; Ebe- 
nezer, born in 1643, and died in Milton, July 31, 
1712; Hannah, born in 1646, and married Ebene- 
zer Strong, of Northampton they were the great- 
grand-parents of Gov. Caleb Strong ; Noah, born 
July 15, 1667, died at Sudburyin 1753; and Sarah, 
born in 1670. Nearly all of the name now living 
in Dorchester, are descendants of Nicholas. After 
he had been dead one hundred and seventy years, 
his descendants erected a stone to his memory, with 
the following inscription. 

The Puritans are dead ! 
One venerable head 

Pillows below. 
His grave is with us seen, 
Neath Summer s gorgeous green 
And Autumn s golden sheen, 

And Winter s snow. 

In memory of 


One of the early settlers of Dorchester. 

He came to New England about 1633, and died Nov. 24, 1679. aged 67 
years. His descendants, to whom he left the best of all patri 
mony, the example of a benevolent, industrious and 
Christian life, erect this stone to his memo 
ry 170 years after his decease. 

His Piety, 

His constancy in virtue and in truth, 
These on tradition s tongue shall live : these shall 
From Sire to Son be handed down 
To latest time. 


Edward Clap was an elder brother of Capt. Ro 
ger Clap. He was a man much esteemed by the 
town, and served in its most responsible offices. In 
the Church Records is the following account of his 
death. " The 8th day of the llth mo., 1664, being 
the Sabbath day, Deacon Edward Clap departed this 
life and now resteth with, the Lord, there to spend 
an eternal Sabbath with God and Christ in Heaven, 
after that he had faithfully served in the office of a 
Deacon for the space of about five or six and twenty 
years, and being the first Church officer that was 
taken away by death since the first joining together 
in covenant, which is now 28 years 4 mo. and odd 
days." He owned one half the mill called Clap s 
mill, situated in the north part of the town, a few 
rods north-east of the house of the late Preserved 
Baker, near the bend of the creek; this mill was 
built by Mr. Bates. Edward Clap s first wife was 
Prudence; she died previous to 1656. His second 
was Susanna, who lived a widow about twenty-four 
years; she died June 16, 1688. One of his wives, 
is supposed to have been the si ster of Nicholas, 
Thomas and John. His, children were as follows : 
Elizabeth, born in 1634, married Elder James 
Blake, and died Jan. 16, 1694; Prudence, born Dec. 
28, 1637, and married Simon Peck, of Hingham; 
Ezra, born May 22, 1640, and died Jan, 23, 1717. 
He was a benevolent and enterprising man. He 
built a corn mill in Milton about 1712, and "was 
very beneficent to the neibors." He was great-great 
grandfather to Rev. Geo. Putnam, D. D., of Roxbury^ 
Nehemiah, born about Sept, 1646, died April 2 % 


1684, and left one son, Edward, a little upwards of 
three years old, who appears to have grown up ra 
ther a shiftless man ; a part of his time he was in 
the army in the expeditions against the Indians, and 
died in Sudbury, Dec. 3, 1733. Susanna, born No 
vember, 1648; Esther, born July, 1656 she marri 
ed Samuel Strong, of Northampton ; Abigail, born 
April 27, 1659, and died Jan. 3, 1660 ; Joshua, born 
May 12, 1661, and died May 22, 1662; Jonathan, 
born March 23, 1664, died May 30, 1664. There 
are few, if any, of Deacon Edward s descendants 
of the male line now living, but many of the female. 

Thomas Clark came to Dorchester in 1630. His 
wife s name was Mary. His children were Mehi ta 
ble, born 18 (2) 1640, who married Warren, of 

Boston ; Elizabeth, born 22 (3) 1642, married John 
Freak, and afterwards Elisha Hutchinson ; Sarah, 
born 21 (4) 1638 ; Jonathan, 1 (8) 1639. The biog 
raphy of Mr. Clark would seem more properly to 
belong to Boston than to Dorchester annals ; but he 
commenced his career in the latter place, and retain 
ed his property and interest here until his death in 
1680, and manifested his good will by bequeathing 
to the town of Dorchester 20 for the poor. 

The farm, which he retained after his removal to 
Boston, was situated on the south side of Jones s 
Hill. No person in the Colony sustained a higher 
reputation for integrity and independence than Mr. 
Clark. He first appears on the Church Records 
in Dorchester in 1638, and the same year was made 
freeman. He was Selectman in 41 and 42. Mr. 
Danforth alludes to Mr. Clark s absence in England, 


when his daughter Mehitable was presented for bap 
tism in 1640, by his relative, Capt. Stoughton. Mr. 
Clark was a successful merchant. He removed his 
residence and business to Boston in 1644 or 45, in 
company with Gibson, Houchin, Duncan, Willis, 
Upsall, Farnham, and other Dorchester settlers, 
whose names may be seen as the founders of the 
Old North Society, in 1650. Clark s name is per 
petuated in Boston by the name of a street near his 
house, and a wharf, at the north part of the city. 
He commanded the artillery company and the Suf 
folk regiment in 1651, and the same year was chosen 
Deputy from Boston, and continued in that office 
eighteen years, five of which he was Speaker of the 
House. He was afterwards chosen Assistant for five 
years in succession. It should be mentioned to his 
honor, that in 1658, when the sanguinary law was 
passed condemning Quakers to death, he and one 
other requested that their dissent might be record 
ed. When Charles II. sent over his Commissioners 
in 1665, and threatened to annul the Massachusetts 
Charter on account of their sympathy for the revo 
lution, that instrument was taken from the public 
archives and placed in the hands of Major Clark 
and three others for safe keeping. He was sent, 
with Mr. Pynchon, to New York, in 1664, to repre 
sent the Bay Colony at the transfer of Manhadoes 
from the Dutch to the English authorities. He left 
1,500 for a hospital in case his two daughters 
should die childless, which did not occur. 

After Mr. Clark s removal to Boston, his wife was 
called before the church at Dorchester for lying 


expressions against the General Court, and her re 
proachful and slanderous tongue against the Go 
vernor, &c. After going before the church two or 
three times, and not giving satisfaction, she was ex 
communicated. When he removed to Boston, he 
sold to William Ware land in Dorchester, which 
was near the easterly end of Pond street. He pro 
bably owned the house that stood near where Mr. 
Gardner s stable now stands, in Hancock street, and 
which is remembered by some of the present gene 
ration. The Church Records say, Rev. " Mr. Flint 
bought of Mr. Clark." It was afterwards Lieut. 
Wis wall s. 

William Clark was in Dorchester as early as 
1638, and the family tradition is, that he came in 
the Mary and John. By his wife, Sarah, he had 
born in Dorchester Sarah, 21 (4) 1638; John, 
1 (8) 1639; Nathaniel, 27 (11) 1641; Experience, 
30(1)1643; William, 3(5)1656; Sarah, 19(1) 
1658. Mr. Clark probably removed to Northamp 
ton soon after the birth of his daughter Sarah, in 
1658, and was representative from that town in 
1663. Nathaniel Clark, of Boston, was a son of 
his. He also had a son Samuel, born at Northamp 
ton. Mr. Clark died July 19, 1690, aged 91 years. 

Thomas Dickerman was in Dorchester as early as 
1636. He probably came with Richard Mather; 
was a grantee of land in 1637 and in 1656; join 
ed the church in 1637, and was admitted a free 
man in March, 1638-9. By his wife, Ellen, he 
had a son Isaac, born in Dorchester, in 1637. 
After Mr. Dickerman s decease, 3 (11) 1657, his 


widow married John Bullard, of Medfield, and sold 
the place formerly her husband s on Roxbury brook, 
to Jacob Hewins. His son Isaac removed to Con 
necticut. Abraham Dickerman, who married Mary, 
the daughter of John Cook, 2 (10) 1658, was a son 
of Thomas. 

Thomas Davenport joined the church in 1640; 
was admitted freeman May 18, 1642. His children 
were Thomas, who died before his father; Sarah, 
born 28(10) 1643, died May 10, 1679; Charles; 
Mary, baptized 21 (11) 1648, married Samuel Max- 
field ; Mehitable, born 14 (12) 1656 ; Jonathan, born 
6(1) 1658-9, married Hannah Maners, 1680 ; Ebe- 
nezer, born 26 (2) 1661, died Nov. 18, 1695 ; John, 
baptized 20 (9) 1664, and succeeded to his father s 
homestead, which was on what is now called Green 
street. His wife, Mary, died Oct. 4th, 1691. He 
died November, 1685. It is supposed that Thomas, 
senior, built the old mansion now standing on the 
north side of Green street. 

Richard Evans. Freeman May 10, 1642. His 
wife was Mary . His children, born in Dor 
chester, were Mary, born 9 (11) 1640, married 
Nathaniel Bradley, 17 (5) 1666; Matthias, born 
11 (12) 1643, married Patience Mead, 1669; Joan 
na, married Joshua Hemmenway, Jan. 16, 1667, and 
removed to Roxbury. Matthias was a carpenter, 
and sold his house and land in Dorchester to James 
Barbour, and removed to Medfield. Richard, who 
died in Dorchester March 10, 1728, aged about 86 
years, was probably a son of Richard ; and Hannah, 
who married Samuel Hix in 1665, was probably a 
daughter. [Inventory, 11 (12) 1661, ] 


Hopestill Foster came from London in 1635, in 
the ship Elizabeth, Capt. Stagg, he then being about 
fourteen years of age, accompanied by his mother, 
Patience Foster, then about forty years of age. 
[See Savage s Gleanings.] The son s name appears 
in the Town Records in 1636. The mother had a 
share in the Neck Lands in 1637. The son signed 
the covenant in 1638, joined the Artillery Company 
in 1642, and was ensign in the Dorchester train band, 
under Humphrey Atherton, 1644 ; was a Selectman 
in 1646, and for thirty years after, with occasional 
intervals ; was a Deputy to the Court in 1652, and 
afterwards a justice, or commissioner of trials. His 
wife s name was Mary. By his will, July 19, 1676, 
he gave 5 towards the free schools, to be added to 
" Brother Gibson s legacy." Mr. Foster lived near 
what is now the south-west corner of Adams and 
Centre streets, near where James Foster lives. 
His children were Hopestill, who married Eliza 
beth Parsons, of Roxbury, and died in Dorchester 
in 1717; John (the schoolmaster), who died Sept. 
9, 1681, aged 33; James, born 1651, married Mary 
Capen, Sept. 22, 1674, and died Oct. 4, 1732, aged 
82 years ; Elisha married Sarah Payson, April 10, 
1678, and died Oct. 16, 1682, aged 29 ; Thankful 
married John Baker, of Boston, and died Jan. 27, 
1697-8, aged 58 years; Comfort, born 28 (7) 1658, 
and "dyed in the King s sarvice," Jan. 5, 1688-9; 
Standfast, born 13 (9) 1660, died Oct. 15, 1676 ; 
had daughters Poline and Mary. He died Oct. 15, 
1676; and his wife died Jan. 4, 1702-3, aged 84 

Patience Foster, mother of Hopestill, was proba- 


bly a sister of John Bigg and also of the husband 
of Rachel Bigg. 

Barnabas Ffower, Farr, or by Dr. Harris, Fower, 
sailed from Bristol in the James, with Mr. Mather ; 
his name occurs twice in Mr. Mather s Journal. He 
was a grantee of land in 1636, owned the covenant 
the same year, and was assessor in 1638; removed 
to Boston in 1644, and was one of the founders of 
the Old North Church in 1650. By his wife, Di 
nah, he had a child, Eliezer, 18 (7) 1642, and his 
wife died when the child was nine days old. He 
then married Grace Negoose or Negus, 10 (1) 1643. 
The son married Mary, daughter of Daniel Preston, 
May 26, 1662. Mr. Ffower died in Boston. [See 
Genealogical Register, 1851, p. 399.] 

John Farnham and his wife Elizabeth had the 
following children, born at Dorchester Jonathan, 
6 (11) 1630 ; Hannah, 9 (9) 1642 ; Joanna, 3 (1) 
1644. Was freeman May 13, 1640. He removed to 
Boston in 1644, and was one of the original found 
ers of the Second Church, in 1650. He owned land 
in Dorchester next to that of Nicholas Upsall. 

Joseph Farnsworth, or Farnworth, probably came 
to Dorchester with Mr. Mather in 1635, with his 
wife Elizabeth and a daughter of the same name ; 
was grantee of Neck Lands in 1637, church member 
in 1638, and freeman March 14, 1638-9. By his 
iirst wife he had born in Dorchester Mary, 30 (1) 
1637, who married Abraham Ripley, and afterwards 
a Mr. Jenkins, of Boston ; Hannah, 14 (10) 1638, 
who married Simon Peck, of Hingham ; Rebecca, 
born 2 (11) 1639; Ruth, 3 (4) 1642, who married 


William Puffer; Samuel, baptized 1647. Mr. Farns- 
worth for his second wife married the widow Mary 
Long, who had two children, Joseph and Thomas, 
by her first husband. He left at his death a daugh 
ter Elizabeth, the wife of John Mansfield ; Rebecca, 
baptized 11 (5) 1639; Joseph, and Samuel a minor. 
Samuel was a housewright by trade, removed to 
Windsor, and there married Mary, a daughter of 
Thomas Stoughton, June 3, 1677. He died June 
12, 1659- 60. 

Benjamin Fenn came to Dorchester in 1630, and 
removed to Connecticut subsequently to 1637. 

Robert Fuller and his wife Ann were in Dorches 
ter in 1640. Their son Jonathan was born in Dor 
chester, 15 (6) 1640. They removed to Rehoboth, 
about 1658, and he died there previous to 1689. 

John Gill joined the church in Dorchester, 20 (9) 
1640; at the same time, Goodwife Gill, probably 
his wife Ann. He with his brother-in-law, Roger 
Billings, bought the mills at Neponset, together with 
one hundred acres of land on the south side of the 
river, called the Indian Fields, of the widow, as ex 
ecutrix of Israel Stoughton, in 1656 ; petitioned for 
incorporation of Milton in 1662 ; trustee of Milton 
church property 1664. He left a daughter Rebecca, 
who, at the time of his decease, was the wife of Jo 
seph Belcher, the minister of Dedham. John Gill 
died in Boston in 1678. His wife Ann was a sister 
of Roger Billings, senior, and died at Boston 1683. 
Rebecca, the wife of Joseph Belcher, was dismissed 
from the church at Dorchester to the church at 
Braintree, 6 (7) 1674. 


There was another John Gill in Boston, who died 
Dec. 10, 1671, aged 60. 

Mr. John Gilbert came to Dorchester in 1630. 
Grantee of Neck lands in 1637. Winthrop (vol. ii.) 
calls him " a grave honest gentleman." He remov 
ed to Taunton, and was one of the early settlers of 
that town. Had sons Joseph, Thomas, John and 
Giles, and a daughter Mary Norcross. Was first 
deputy from Taunton to New Plymouth in 1639. 
His inventory was exhibited June 3, 1657. He left 
a widow Winnifred. 

John Gornhill, Gurnhill, or Gornell, came to Dor 
chester in 1630. Joined the church in 1638; was 
freeman in 1643. Was a tanner by trade. By his 
will, dated November 19, 1673, he left 40 out of 
his lanyard to be put into the hands of some godly 
and honest man, to be by him loaned from time to 
time to some poor, honest and godly mechanic, to 
assist in setting him up in business. He also left 
20 to the schools in Dorchester. He left no 
children. His widow Jane afterwards married John 
Burge, and died April 4, 1678, and was buried by 
the side of her first husband, as Jane the wife of 
John Gornell. Mr. Gornell died July 3, 1675, 
aged 64. 

Thomas Hawkins s name appears on the records 
in 1636. Was a grantee of land in 1637. He and 
his wife Mary signed the covenant in 1638. Was a 
freeman in 1639, and a member of the Artillery 
Company in 1644. He lived on Rock (now Savin) 
Hill, near the fort built in 1633, arid where " y e 
great guns" were mounted in 1639. Winthrop 


calls him a London ship-carpenter ; but he was a 
navigator. He was a large land-holder in Dorches 
ter. He owned land at Bass Neck, so called, now 
the southerly part of Harrison Square. His farm 
was in that part of Dorchester now Quincy, at the 
Farm Meadows, so called, and adjoined the Newbury 
(or Mr. Glover s) farm. Hawkins s Brook, a small 
stream named for him, crosses Columbia street. He 
removed to Boston before 1643, when he and 
Major Gibbens chartered four ships to M. De La 
Tour to cruise against his enemy D Aulna, which 
fleet he commanded in person. From Hubbard we 
learn that he built a very large ship (for those times) 
in Boston, being upwards of four hundred tons. 
She " was set out with great ornament of carving 
and painting, and with much strength of ordnance." 
She sailed for Malaga, November 23, 1645, in com 
pany with another ship under the command of Capt. 
Karman. Both vessels were lost on the coast of 
Spain, and nineteen of the company perished, 
among whom was Capt. Karman. Unfortunately, 
he was wrecked on the same spot the next year, 
when in the company of some persons from London. 
In 1646 he arrived in Boston, commanding a Lon 
don ship. In November, 1648, Winthrop writes 
his son that news is received from England by Capt. 
Hawkins s ship (God being pleased to send him 
[Hawkins] to heaven by the way). His will is re 
corded in Suffolk Records (vol. iii., fol. 101), in 1654. 
His children were Sarah, baptized 1638, married 
to Rev. James Allen ; Elizabeth, who married Adam 
Winthrop and John Richards ; Abigail, married to 


Samuel Moore, May 13, 1660, to Thomas Kellend, 
and then to John Foster, Esq., of Boston ; Mary, 
married John Aylet, 21 (9) 1654 ; Hannah, born 
8 (4) 1644, married Elisha Hutchinson, grand-father 
of the Governor ; and Thomas, who had issue both 
male and female. (Mss. of Mr. T. L. Turner. Hub- 
bard, fol. 525.) 

Richard Hawes came in the Freelove, Capt. Gibbs, 
in 1635, with his wife Ann, and two children. His 
age was 29 ; his wife s, 26 ; that of his daughter 
Ann, 2 1-2 ; son Obadiah, 6 months. (See Glean 
ings.) He signed the church covenant in 1636, 
and was a grantee of land in 1637 and 1646. Their 
other children were Bethia, born in Dorchester, 
27 (5) 1637 ; Deliverance, born 11 (4) 1640 ; daugh 
ter Constant, born 17(5) 1642. They had a son 
Eleazer killed in the war, April 21, 1676. Mr. 
Hawes died in 1656. 

Jeremy Houchin joined the church in Dorchester, 
4 (12) 1639. He is mentioned in the Town Ee- 
cords in 1641, and soon after removed to Boston, 
where he assisted in forming the Old North Society 
in 1650. He was a member of the Ancient and 
Honorable Artillery Company in 1641 ; was repre 
sentative for Hingham for several years, though it 
does not appear that he lived there. He was also 
representative for Salisbury in 1663. His wife was 
Esther. His children Mary, 18 (11) 1639-40, 
baptized at Dorchester March 4, 1641 ; Jeremy, 
born in 1643, soon died ; Jeremy, 1652 ; Elizabeth, 
1653, married John, jr., the son of Gov. Endicott; 
John, baptized 1655. Mr. Houchin, when in Bos- 


ton, lived at the corner of Court and Hanover sts. 
He was a tanner, and his tanyard was where Concert 
Hall now stands. He died in 1670. 

Robert Howard. A Mr. Howard (most probably 
Robert) received a portion of land in the first divi 
sion in 1638 ; was in Dorchester in 1644, and 
probably earlier ; was chosen to manage the affairs 
of the schools in 1646 ; was made freeman in 
February, 1642-3; was a Selectman in 1651 and 
1652, and Clerk of the Writs until Deacon Wiswell 
returned from England. He was dismissed from the 
church at Dorchester, to join the church at Boston, 
Aug. 16, 1668. His wife s name was Mary. He 
probably had sons, Robert and Jonathan ; and a 
daughter, Mary, who married Samuel Bass, jr. He 
died in 1683. 

Jonas Humphrey came to Dorchester with his 
wife Frances and son James, from Wendover, in 
Buckinghamshire, England (where he had been a 
constable), in 1634. James w T as about twenty-six 
years old when they arrived. Mr. Humphrey was 
grantee of Neck lands in 1637 ; member of the 
church in 1639; freeman, May 13, 1640; and pro 
prietor in the great lots in 1646. He bought the 
place then owned by William Hammond, who came 
with the first settlers, but afterwards removed to 
Windsor. His children were Jonas, died Oct. 30, 
1689; James; Hopestill, baptized 10 (4) 1649; 
Elizabeth. Susan married Nicholas White. Sarah 
was buried in 1638. He also had a daughter who 
married Mr. Foye. He lived in what is now called 
Humphrey street, and the estate is still in possession 


of his descendants. He died 9 (1) 1661-2. His wife 
died 2 (6) 1668. 

Nathaniel Holder was in Dorchester early, and 
was a member of the church in 1638, but probably 
did not remain long in the town. He is undoubtedly 
the person Dr. Harris calls Nathaniel Holden. 

John Kinsley, or Kingsley, was here as early as 
1635. He was grantee of land in 1635, and one of 
the original signers of the covenant in 1636. He 
had a share in the great lots in 1646 ; was a rater 
in 1648, and freeman in 1651. He had a son El- 
dad, born in Dorchester in 1638 ; and a daughter 
Renewed, born 19 (1) 1644. He had a son Enos, 
who went to Northampton ; and a daughter who 
married Samuel Jones, son of Richard. John 
Kinsley married the daughter of William Daniels, 
of Milton, and resided there in 1670. 

Thomas Lake was in Dorchester, probably, as 
early as 1640. It does not appear that he was ever 
married. His name is sometimes spelled Leke. A 
double grave-stone stands in the Dorchester grave 
yard, on one side of which is u Thomas Leke, aged 
70 years, deceased Oct. 27, 1678. Els Leke, aged 80 
years, deceased Oct. 20, 1678." He had a brother 
Henry, who had a son Thomas. By his will he pro 
vides that if he leaves 50, five of it shall be laid out 
in plate for the Lord s Table, and that his and his 
wife s name shall be marked upon it and leaves it 
with Mr. Flint to see it done. The rest of his pro 
perty to go to his brother Henry and his children. 

Richard Lippincott was in Dorchester about 1636. 
Remembrance, probably his daughter, was baptized 


in September, 1641. She married Mr. Barber, of 

William Lane came to Dorchester about 1636. 
He was a man in humble life, and died about 1654. 
He had sons, Andrew and George, who lived in 
Hingham. In his will he names sons Nathaniel 
Baker and Thomas Lincoln, of Hingham. He had 
a daughter Mary Long ; probably the widow of Jo 
seph Long, and if so, she afterwards married Jo 
seph Farnsworth but in his will he calls Joseph 
Farnsworth brother. There was a Sarah Lane bap 
tized in Dorchester, 28 (3) 1648; Elizabeth, baptiz 
ed in 1655-6, and married Thomas Rider. There 
were two children of Job Lane, baptized in Dor 
chester early; viz., Rebekah, 4 (5) 1658, and John, 
18 (6) 1661 " being about a quarter of a year old, 
by reason of their dwelling soe remote." The name- 
of Lane is very ancient. One came over to Eng 
land with William the Conqueror in 1067. 

Richard Leeds, of Great Yarmouth (England), 
mariner, and Joan his wife, left England in the 
reign of Charles I., on the 12th of April, 1637, 
desirous, as he said (to Mr. Thomas Mayhew, the 
king s commissioner), " to pass to New England, 
and there to inhabit and dwell." They embarked 
on board of one of two vessels that sailed at the 
same time the John and Dorothy, of Ipswich 
(England), Capt. William Andrews, Sen. ; or the 
Rose, of Yarmouth, Capt. William Andrews, Jr., 
son of said William Andrews, Sen. They settled in 
Dorchester at what is now called Savin Hill ; and 
in 1639 the town of Dorchester granted him and 


two others, land on Thompson s Island, for the fish 
ing business, which he and Nathaniel Duncan and 
others carried on to a great extent, hy sales for ex 
port. He was an active man, both in church and 
town affairs, and left a large estate for those times. 
He died 18th March, 1692-3, aged about 98 years, 
and his grave-stone still marks the spot where he 
was laid. His wife Joan, who was in every thing 
all that adorns a wife, mother and friend, died in 
1682, and lies by his side in Dorchester burying 
ground. Their children were Joseph and Benja 
min (twins), born in Dorchester in 1637 ; and Han 
nah, born in 1639. Joseph married Meriam, daugh 
ter of Capt. Aaron Cook, of Northampton, Nov. 8, 
1661. They resided at Northampton till about 
1672, when they returned to Dorchester. He was 
a farmer. He died Jan. 28, 1714-15, about 77 years 
old ; and his wife 23d August, 1720, about 78 years 
of age leaving a large family of children. They 
were an exemplary couple, and their children were 
among the most prominent of their generation. 
They were both buried in Dorchester, and their 
grave-stones may still be seen. Benjamin lived in 
Dorchester, was also a farmer, and perhaps engaged 
in the fishing business. He married Mary Brins- 
made, daughter of William Brinsmade, of Dor 
chester, and sister of Rev. Mr. Brinsmade, of Marl- 
borough, Mass. His second wife was Mercy, who 
died August 10, 1692. He was married the third 
time by Rev. John Danforth, of Dorchester, to Abi 
gail Knights, the llth of the 6th month, 1696. 
She died June 12th, 1712. He never had children. 


He died March 13, 1717-18, aged about 80 years, 
and was buried at Dorchester, his grave-stone still 
remaining. Hannah married, Nov. 18, 1659, Sam 
uel Clap (son of Capt. Roger and Joan Clap), who 
was afterwards elder of the church at Dorchester. 
She was beloved by all. They lived together about 
forty-nine years. She died Oct. 8th, 1708, about 69 
years of age, and he died of grief at her loss, eight 
days afterwards, Oct. 16th, 1708, aged 74. He was 
a conspicuous man in the affairs of the church and 
town of Dorchester. (See Roger Clap s Memoir.) 
They left children.* 

Thomas Lewis joined the church in 1636; w r a8 
a grantee of land in September, 1637. He proba 
bly did not remain long. 

Richard Mather (see biography by his grand-son, 
Cotton Mather) was born at Lowton, Lancashire, 
1596. He taught school at Toxteth Park, when he 
was but 15 years old, studied at Oxford, was or 
dained by the bishop of Chester, and settled at Tox 
teth in 1618. He married Miss Holt, of Bury, 1624, 
who was the mother of his six sons. He remained 
at Toxteth until he was suspended for non-confor 
mity in 1633, and removed to New England in 1635. 
The details of his journey to Bristol and his voyage 
to America, are to be found in his Journal (printed 
by our Society in 1850). He arrived at Boston in 
August, 1635, and was soon invited to settle at 
various, places, but the recommendation of Cotton 
and Hooker induced him to give the preference to 

* Communicated by H. M. Leeds, Esq., who is preparing a history 
of the family. 


Dorchester, just vacated, by the migration to Con 
necticut, of both pastor and church. A new church 
was gathered at Dorchester in August, 1636, and 
Mr. Mather was chosen their teacher. After the 
revolution had deposed the British hierarchy, he was 
urged to return to his parish at Toxteth, but his 
roots had taken too strong hold at Dorchester. He 
was among the most learned of the New England 
divines. It is said the platform of church discipline 
adopted by the synod of 1647, was chiefly taken 
from his model. He was a hard student ; his opi 
nions on theological subjects were regarded with 
much respect, and he served in many of the assem 
blies convened in his time to consult upon church 
affairs. His first wife died in 1654, and two years 
after he married the widow r of the Rev. John Cot 
ton. He died in April, 1669, aged 73, and left six 
sons, four of whom were ministers of the gospel. 
Mather and John Eliot made a new version of the 
Psalms in 1640. 

Mr. Ambrose Martin buys out John Branker, 
Sept. 2, 1637. Received a portion of the Neck 
lands in 1637. Joan Martin joined the church in 
1636. The court fined him 10 for calling the 
church covenant a human invention. 

John Maudesley, or Moseley, came to Dorchester 
in 1630. Was freeman March 14, 1638-39, and 
grantee of lands in 1656. Mr. Moseley appears to 
have had two wives ; the first, Elizabeth second, 
Cicily. Joseph, a son of John and Elizabeth, was 
born 1638. He left two children Thomas and 
Elizabeth. He probably lived in what is now call- 


ed Crescent Avenue, near Thomas M. Moseley s. 
Mr. Moseley died 27 (8) 1661. His wife Cicily died 
3 (10) 1661. A brown freestone slab, on a brick 
foundation, marks his last resting-place in the Dor 
chester grave-yard. John Moseley, Jr. removed to 
Windsor, and from thence to Westfield. 

Henry Moseley was in Dorchester in 1630 pro 
bably a brother of John Moseley. He had a house- 
lot granted him in Dorchester, Sept. 10, 1637. He 
\vas afterwards in Boston and Braintree. Henry 
had a son Samuel, born in 1641, who is probably 
the Capt. Samuel that frequently served in the 
wars with the Indians, against whom he was very 

Gabriel Mead called Goodman was possibly 
in Dorchester as early as 1636 ; was freeman May 
2, 1638. His wife was Susanna. His son Israel 
was born in 1637. Israel removed to Watertown, but 
returned to Dorchester and joined the church here 
16 (6) 1674. His father left him the house he lived 
in, in Dorchester. To his son David he left the old 
house. His daughters were Lydia ; Experience, 
married Jabez Eaton 4 (10) 1663; Sarah, married 
Mr. Burgess, of Boston ; Patience, married Mat 
thias Evans 28 (2) 1669, and died 22 (3) 1670. He 
owned land near the burying-place and the Church 
Records say it appears he lived near where Mr. 
Foster s malt-house stood. He died 12 (3) 1666, 
aged about 79. 

Thomas Miller was in Dorchester early. He re 
moved to Boston as soon as 1665, probably before 
that time. Joseph Miller, " from Dorchester," set 
tled in Cambridge Village (Newton) before 1678. 


Thomas Millett came from Southwark, England ; 
he sailed from London in the Elizabeth, Capt. Stagg, 
in the spring of 1635. He joined the Dorchester 
church in 1636; was made freeman in 1637, and 
was a grantee of land the same year. He married 
Mary, the daughter of John Greenway. Their chil 
dren were Thomas, who came from England when 
two years old; John, born 8(5) 1635; Jonathan, 
born and died in 1638; Mary, born 26 (6) 1639 ; 
Mehitable, 14 (1) 1641. Mr. Millett was born in 
1605, and his wife in 1606. His house was burned 
in 1657, and a part of the Town Records w^ere de 
stroyed by the fire. Moses Eyres married Bethia 
Millett, 3 (6) 1666. 

Rev. Samuel Newman, a son of Richard Newman, 
was born at Bambury, in England, in 1600, or 160L 
He was educated at Oxford, and came to New Eng 
land (according to Judge Davis) in 1636, and joined 
the church at Dorchester and \vas made freeman 
the same year. He lived in Dorchester about a 
year and a half, and removed to Weymouth. He 
sold his land in Dorchester to Mr. Mather in 1639. 
He remained in Weymouth about five years, where 
he preached. He removed to Rehoboth, and settled 
there in 1644, and died July 5, 1663. He was an 
important man in assisting and encouraging the in 
habitants during the early settlement of the town. 
He had sons Samuel, Noah, Antipas ; daughters 
Hopestill, Joanna and Hope. His son Noah suc 
ceeded him in the ministry at Rehoboth, and did 
great service by his efforts and council during the 
war with King Philip. He died April 16, 1676. 


Hopestill married Rev. George Shove, third minister 
of Taunton, and had sons Nathaniel, Samuel and 
Seth. Joanna Newman died at Dorchester, Nov. 
23, 1678, and was " buried at Brain tree by her father 
at her own desire." Hope Newman was born at Wey- 
mouth, Nov. 29, 1641. 

Nathaniel Patten came from Severls, in Crewkern, 
England. He was an inhabitant of Dorchester in 
1640 ; was a Selectman in 1644, and some years 
afterwards ; was a grantee of land in 1656, and lived 
on the south side of Savin Hill. He died January 
31, 1661, and left an estate appraised at 1416 17s 
Id. His widow Justin was the administratrix. She 
died Dec. 28, 1675, and left a silver cup to the 
church in Dorchester. 

William Pond joined the church in Dorchester, 
28 (12) 1641 ; was a grantee of land in 1656; was 
C a rater in 1662, 67 and 75. Blake styles him Ser 
jeant. His children were Elizabeth and Martha 
(twins), born 1657, and died in infancy ; Judith, 
born 16 (8) 1659; Thankful, born 15 (11)1661, 
married Philip Withington, Nov. 17, 1682; Expe 
rience, baptized 3 (11)1663; George, baptized 21 
(11) 1665 ; Mindwell, born 24 (6) 1667. Mr. Pond 
died April 4, 1690. His widow Mary died Febru 
ary 16, 1710-11. 

William Robinson came to Dorchester in 1636 ; 
was freeman the same year ; joined the church in 
1638 ; was member of the Ancient and Honorable 
Artillery Company in 1643 ; appears first as a gran 
tee of land in 1656; was a rater in 1658 and 61. 
He bought the Tide Mill, now known as Tileston s 


Mill, of Edward Breck. He went to England in 
1644, and returned the following year. His son 
Samuel succeeded to his father s estate. His son 
Increase, baptized 14 (1) 1642, afterwards removed 
to Taunton. His daughter Prudence married John 
Bridge, of Roxbury ; Waits till married Joseph Pen- 
niman, of Braintree. His wife s daughter is men 
tioned as Mary Streeter. He had three wives 
first, Prudence ; second, Margaret (who was living 
in 1664) ; and third, Ursula, who outlived her 

There was a William Robinson, who suffered 
death in Boston as a Quaker, in 1660. 

William Heed embarked from London in the 
Defence, Capt, Edward Bostock, in July, 1638, he 
being then 48 years of age. His wife came with 
him. Also his three sons George, born 1629; 
Ralph, 1630 ; Justin, 1634. Mr. Reed and his wife 
joined the church, and afterwards removed. There 
was an Abigail Reed, probably their daughter, bap 
tized 30 (8) 1638, and went to Rehoboth. 

John Rigby probably came to Dorchester about 
1637, as he and his wife Isabell were early members 
of the church. lie was made freeman May 18, 1642. 
Samuel Rigby, baptized 9 (6) 1640, was undoubt 
edly a son of John, and lived on the place subse 
quently owned by his son Samuel, near the spot 
where the Hon. John Howe resided, now known as 
Adams Street. Mehitable Rigby, baptized in Dor 
chester, 1643, was probably a daughter of John. She 
married Nathaniel Turner, of Scituate. Thomas 
Holman married Abigail Rigby, 19 (12) 1663. 


David Sellick joined the church in Dorchester in 
1640. By the Church Records it appears he lived 
with " Mr. Gibson, at Father Ways." He died in 
1654. David Sellick, baptized in 1640, and went to 
New Haven ; and Jonathan, baptized May 9, 1641, 
and went to Stamford, were probably his sons. 

Clement Topliff, born in England, Nov. 17, 1603, 
was in Dorchester in 1637 ; a member of the church 
in 1639 ; grantee of lands in 1647. His children 
were Jonathan, born 2d mo. 1637 ; Sarah, 3d mo. 
1639, married David Jones 11(3)1 65 9; Obedience, 
8th mo. 1642, married elder David Copp, Feb. 20, 
1659; Samuel, May, 1646; Patience, married Na 
thaniel Holmes, 27, 1667. Mr. Topliff died Dec. 
24, 1672, aged 69. His wife Sarah died July 29, 
1693, aged 88. His inventory, 286. He lived on 
what is now known as Bowdoin Street, and owned 
the land where St. Mary s Church stands. 

Thomas Tolman was a member of the church in 
1638, and was made freeman May 13, 1640. The 
family tradition is that he came over in the Mary 
and John, with the first settlers, in 1630. His wife 
was Sarah. Had sons Thomas, who died Septem 
ber 12, 1718, aged 85 ; and John. Daughters 
Sarah, who married Henry Leadbetter, March 18, 
1659 ; Rebecca, married James Tucker ; Ruth, mar 
ried Isaac Royal ; Hannah, born 27 (5) 1642, mar 
ried Peter Lyon ; Mary, who married Collins, 

of Lynn. He first settled on Pine Neck, and after 
wards removed to what was denominated " the Great 
Lots." His descendants now own and live upon 
some of the land which has been in the family since 


the first settlement of the town. Some of his de 
scendants have furnished Dorchester with a Town 
Clerk for upwards of fifty years. Mr. Tolman died 
in 1688. 

William Trescott, admitted freeman May 10, 1644. 
Married Elizabeth, the daughter of George Dyer. 
Their children were Samuel, bora 4 (9) 1646, 
was dismissed from the church in Dorchester to the 
church in Milton, August 7, 1687; Mary, 23(2) 
1649, married John Hemmenway, 6 (8) 1665, and 
removed to Roxbury; John, 21 (8) 1651, died Jan 
uary 22, 1741, in the 91st year of his age, and his 
wife Rebecca died August 1, 1741, in the 89th year 
of her age ; Patience, 7 (3) 1665 ; Abigail, 5 (9) 
1656, married Amiel Weeks, March 22, 1682; 
Martha, born 8 (11) 1660, married Jacob Huens, 
February 24, 1680; Elizabeth, born 24 (4) 1665; 
and Sarah. There was a Thomas Trescott died 
about 1654, who was a brother of William. He 
left a wife. 

Ralph Tompkins embarked from London in the 
Freelove, Capt. Gibbs, in September, 1635 ; joined 
the church in Dorchester in 1636 ; was made a free 
man in 1638. He was born in England in 1585. 
His wife Catherine w^as born in 1577. Their chil 
dren were Samuel, born 1613 ; Elizabeth, born 
1617; Maria, born 1621. Samuel was one of the 
proprietors of Bridge water in 1645. Mr. Tompkins 
sold his place in Dorchester to John Farnham, in 
1648, and about that time removed to Salem. 

JefFry Turner came here probably as early as 
1637 ; was made freeman in 1643. He married 


IsabellGill. He had children Jeffrey, born 22 
(3) 1640 ; Increase, born 16 (8) 1642. 

James Trowbridge, in the list, should have been 
Thomas, who was here about 1636. A Mrs. Trow 
bridge joined the church that year. He was proba 
bly son of Thomas, of Taunton, England. He had 
sons Thomas and William, who settled at New 
Haven ; and James, born about 1636, who resided in 
Dorchester until about 1664, then removed to New 
ton. Thomas, sen., visited England in 1644 or 45, 
and left his children in charge of Sergeant Thomas 
Jeffrey, " to bring up in the fear of God ; and when 
Mr. Trowbridge returns, he will refer it to the Court 
to determine what is equal for it." Mr. Trowbridge 
died in Taunton, England, subsequently to 1663. 

Thomas Trott was made freeman in 1644, and 
joined the church the same year. His children were 
Thomas, who was killed by a fall from his cart, 
January 13, 1693 ; Sarah, born 16 (11) 1653, mar 
ried Barnard Capen, June 2, 1675 ; Mary, 26 (11) 
1656; Samuel, 27 (6) 1660, died August 3, 1724; 
John, baptized 4 (10) 1664 ; Thankful, 5 (10) 1667, 

married Hinckley; James, born 2 (4) 1671, 

died Sept. 27, 1717; daughter Preserved, married 
John Baker, 11 (6) 1667, died November 25, 1711. 
Thomas Trott died July 28, 1696, aged 82 years. 
Sarah his wife died May 27, 1712. He lived on 
Spurr s Hill, near where Mr. Nichols now lives. 

Thomas Treadwell was an early inhabitant of 
Dorchester, and had a division of lands beyond the 
" Blew Hills." He removed to Ipswich. Sells to 
E. Breck, 1638, 


Nathaniel Wales came over in the ship James, 
with the Rev. Richard Mather, in 1635, and is 
mentioned in Mather s Journal. Was a church 
member and grantee of land in 1637, and made free 
man the same year. He was a ship-wright by trade. 
He lived in Dorchester nearly twenty years, and 
then removed to Boston. Nathaniel (junior) re 
moved to Boston with his father, and died there 
Dec. 4, 1661. His son Nathaniel (3d) settled in 
Braintree, and was a Ruling Elder in the Braintree 
church. He died March 23, 1717-18. Nathaniel, 
3d, had fifteen children. Nathaniel s (senior) sons 
Timothy and John settled in Dorchester. Timothy 
had a son Eleazer, born 25 (10) 1657. John was 
bailiff in Dorchester in 1653 ; had a daughter Con 
tent, born 14 (3) 1659. Mr. Wales s wife was Susan, 
He died in Boston, Dec. 4, 1661, 

George Weeks came, it is supposed, about the 
same time as Mr. Mather, which was in 1635. His 
wife was Jane Clap, sister of Capt. Roger Clap, 
through whose influence Mr. Weeks came. He ap 
pears to have been a man in high estimation, and 
Blake says he was of a religious family. Amiel, 
Joseph and William were his sons. Mr. Weeks 
died in Dorchester, 27 (8) 1659. His widow Jane 
married Jonas Humphrey, and died in 1668. 

John Wiswall was a member and the deacon of 
the church at Dorchester in 1636. He was a Ruling 
Elder, and for many years kept the Church Records. 
He was a Selectman at various times between 1639 
and 1655 ; Deputy in 1646 ; went to England in 
1652, returned to Dorchester, removed from thence 


to Boston in 1659-60, and was chosen Elder of the 
first church there, July 20, 1664. The latter part 
of the time that he was in Dorchester, he lived in 
that part of it now called Canton, " beyond y e 
Blue Hills," near Dedham. He died August 17, 
1687, aged 86 years. His wife was Margaret. His 
son John lived in his father s house in Dorchester 
in 1660. His daughter Ruth married Henry Mount- 
ford; Hannah married Overman; Mary married 

Edmands ; Lydia married Ballard ; Debo 
rah married Cutter; Esther married Daniel 

Fisher ; and Rebecca married Matthew Johnson. By 
a letter dated in 1660, signed by Thomas and Ann 
Smith, and published in the Genealogical Register 
of July, 1853, it appears that John Wiswall s wife 
was their daughter. Mahaleel Munnings is also 
called John Wiswall s son, and therefore must have 
married one of his daughters. Brothers Abiel, Adam 
and Jonathan, in England, and Smith s " brother 
Withington," are also named in Smith s letter. 

Thomas Wiswall, brother of John, came to Dor 
chester about 1635. He joined the church in 1636, 
was grantee of land in 1637, Selectman in 1644, 
removed to Newton about 1656, and was ordained 
Ruling Elder of the church there, July 20, 1664. 
He died Dec. 6, 1683. He had a son Enoch, born 
in 1633, who married Elizabeth, daughter of John 
Oliver 25 (9) 1657, and died Nov. 28, 1706, aged 
73 years. He inherited his father s house, and lived 
in it at the time of his death. Ebenezer, born at 
Dorchester, 1646, died at Newton, June 21, 1691. 
Noah, born in 1640, married Theodosia Jackson, of 


Newton, in 1664 ; was a military man, and was in 
command in the desperate battle with the Indians 
near Wheelwright s Pond, in Lee, N. H., where he 
and his son John were killed, July 6, 1690. Icha- 
bod, born 1637, minister of Duxbury, died July 23, 
1700 ; and Thomas, who probably died young. 
Enoch came in possession of the house which was 
Mr. Maverick s, also the house formerly Abraham 
Dyke s. Mary married Samuel Payson, of Dorches 
ter ; Hester, baptized 1635, married Major William 
Johnson, of Woburn, 1655 ; Sarah, baptized 1643, 
married Nathaniel Holmes, Jr., of Dorchester. 

Henry Withington probably came over in 1636. 
He was one of the six that signed the church cove 
nant with the Rev. Richard Mather, 23 (6) 1636, 
and was soon after chosen Ruling Elder, which place 
he filled twenty-nine years. His first wife was Eli 
zabeth, his second was Margarie. He was a Select 
man in 1636, and grantee in 1627. He died Feb 
ruary 2, 1666-7, aged 79 years. Deacon Richard 
Withington, who died Dec. 22, 1701, aged 84 years, 
was a son of his. His daughters were Faith, 
who married Richard Baker; Mary, who married 
Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth ; and Ann, who 
married James Bates, Jr. 

John Whitcomb came to Dorchester early, pro 
bably in 1635 supposed to have come from Dor 
chester, in England, and probably a son of Simon, 
who was chosen one of the Assistants in England, 
but never came over. John removed to Scituate as 
early as 1640, and owned a large farm near North 
River, which he sold to Thomas Hicks. He remov- 


ed to Lancaster, and died there, Sept. 24, 1662. His 
daughter Katharine married Rodolphus Ellms, of 
Scituate, in 1644. His sons were John, who re 
moved to Lancaster with his father ; Robert remain 
ed at Scituate ; James settled in Boston, and owned 
the land where the Tremont House now stands. It 
is supposed that James favored the cause of Gover 
nor Sir Edmund Andros, when he was at the head 
of the government, and subsequently left the coun 
try for England. 

John Whipple was a grantee of land at Dorches 
ter Neck in 1637, and joined the church in 1641. 
He lived near what is now called Neponset Village. 
He was a carpenter by trade, and owned a house 
and 40 or 50 acres of land, which he sold in 1658 to 
George Minott, for his son John Minott. His chil 
dren born in Dorchester were Sarah, baptized 
August 12, 1641, and married a Mr. Smith, of Pro 
vidence; Lemuel, baptized in 1643; William, bap 
tized 16 (3) 1652; Benjamin, baptized 4 (4) 1654; 
David; John, baptized March 9, 1641; Eleazei\ 
baptized 8 (1) 1646; Mary, baptized April 9, 1648, 
Mr. Whipple removed to Providence. 

Michael Willis, or Willies, or Wyllyes, was in 
Dorchester as early as 1638 ; was freeman the same 
year ; was a grantee of land in 1640 and 1647. He 
removed to Boston about 1659, and was one of the 
founders of the second church there. He sold some 
of his common land in Dorchester to Richard Leeds, 
in 1656. He was a blacksmith by trade, and died 
in Boston in 1669. He had two sons Roger, who 
lived in Dorchester in 1677; and Joseph, baptized 
3 (12) 1639. He had several daughters. 


Theophilus Wilson, it is supposed, was not long 
in the town. 

Henry Woodward came over in the ship James, 
Capt. Taylor, in the summer of 1635. He was a 
physician. He removed to Northampton about 
1658, and was accidentally killed there by a mill 

Richard Wright appears to have come to New 
England early, and to have been in Lynn and Bos 
ton before he came to Dorchester. He was there, 
however, soon enough to have a division in the Neck 
lands in 1636. He was one of the committee sent 
to Mt. Wollaston to bound out farms for William 
Coddington and Edmund Quincy. 

Mr. Thomas Waterhouse and his wife joined the 
church at Dorchester, 4 (12) 1639, and taught a 
school that year. He was married, before he came 
to New England, to Anna, the daughter of John 
and Ann Mahew. He was a minister and curate 
under Mr. Candler, at Codenham, England. He 
did not remain long in Dorchester, but returned to 
England. He was ejected at Ashrocking, by the 
Act of Uniformity. He died in 1679 or 1680, near 
ly 80 years of age. His children were Anna, 
baptized at Dorchester, March 5, 1640; Thomas, 
Conquest, John, Edward, David and Elizabeth. 

Nicholas Wood was in Dorchester as early as 
1640, from which time he carried on Mr. Glover s 
farm until the death of Mr. Glover in 1654, during 
which time Mr. Glover resided in Boston. The 
farm is now within the bounds of Milton, and was 
sold by Mr. Glover s heirs to Ilobert Vose in 1654, 


and a part of it is now in possession of the heirs of 
the late Col. Josiah Vose. 

It will be perceived that several names appear on 
pages 101 and 102, which should have been omitted, 
as they had been given in the previous list. 


Privations and Influence of Woman in the Settlement of the Country. 
Additional Names of Male Inhabitants of Dorchester prior to 1700. 

IT was our intention to have given an outline of 
the history of all the male inhabitants of Dorches 
ter who had arrived at the age of twenty-one years, 
prior to the year 1700 ; but the space which would 
be required to do this might, it is thought, be better 
filled with a more general history. While speak 
ing of those among the first emigrants who belonged 
to the sterner sex, we would by no means forget the 
female portion of our predecessors, who acted w r ell 
their part. Our early history abounds with instances 
which prove, that in performing the duties which 
peculiarly devolved upon them, and in sharing with 
the men in the mutual privations incident to the 
settlement of a new country, the women deserve a 
full share of the praise which belongs to the early 
settlers. Their influence also was great and benefi 
cial ; and from the time when that u faire maide," 
Mary Chilton, first leaped upon the rock at Ply 
mouth, to the present day, that influence has been 


an important element in our national character. In 
the beautiful language of Mrs. Sigourney " On 
the unfloored hut, she who had been nurtured amid 
the rich carpets and curtains of the mother land, 
rocked her new-born babe and complained not. She 
who in the home of her youth had arranged the 
gorgeous shades of embroidery, or, perchance, had 
compounded the rich venison pastry as her share in 
the housekeeping, now pounded the coarse Indian 
corn for her children s bread, and bade them ask 
God s blessing ere they took their scanty portion. 
When the snows sifted through their miserable roof- 
trees upon her little ones, she gathered them closer 
to her bosom ; she taught them the Bible, and the 
catechism, and the holy hymn, though the war- 
whoop of the Indian rang through the wild. Amid 
the untold hardships of colonial life, she infused 
new strength into her husband by her firmness, and 
solaced his weary hours by her love. She was to 

{ An undergoing spirit, to bear up 
Against whatever ensued. ;) 

The following list comprises the names of those 
who lived in the town, and who had reached the 
age of twenty-one years, up to the year 1700, in 
addition to those in the lists already given. 

Consider Atherton Peter Aspinwall 

Hope Atherton Nicholas Allen 

James Atherton Mr. Bellingham 

John Avery Alexander Bradford 

James Atwood William Brinsmade, Sen, 

Increase Atherton John Bradley 

Joseph Angier James Blake 

Watching Atherton Thomas Breck 

Jonathan Atherton George Babcock 



Edmund Brown 
John Blackman 
Gamaliel Beaman 
Edmund Bowker 
William Blake, Jr. O 
Richard Butt 
John Burge 
Thomas Bird, Jr. 
Benjamin Bailey 
James Bates, Jr. 
Thomas Birch 
Edward Barber 
David Babcock 
Henry Bridgham 
Nicholas Boulton 
Edward Blake 
John Beaman 
John Bolton 
John Bird 
John Baker 
James Blake, 2d 
Hugh Batten 
Roger Billings, Jr. 
James Barber 
John Blake 

Rev. William Brinsmeade 
Noah Bearnan 
Nathan Bradley 
Henry Butler 
William Betts 
Jonathan Birch 
Joseph Birch 
Matthew Ball 
Francis Ball 
John Buck 
James Baker 
Joseph Blake 
John Blake 
James Bird 
John Brown 
James Bacon 
Ebenezer Billings 
Benjamin Bates 
Mr. Beaumont 
Giles Burge 

Edward Breck, son of ) 

William Bradley 
Henry Bayley 
John Clap 
Thomas Clap 
Henry Cunliffe 
Richard Curtis 
Henry Crane 
Samuel Clap 
Samuel Chandler 
Peter Cealey 
William Chaplin 
Joseph Capen 
Nathaniel Clap 
Rev. Nathaniel Clap 
Nathaniel Clark 
John Clap, 2d 
Rev. Joseph Capen 
Ezra Clap 
Nehemiah Clap 
John Capen, Jr. 
Samuel Capen 
Barnard Capen, Jr. 
Hopestill Clap 
Desire Clap 
Preserved Capen 
Ammi Ruhamah Corlet 
Jonathan Clap 
Ebenezer Clap, son of ) 

Nicholas \ 

Eben Clap, son of Na- ) 

thaniel ) 

Noah Clap 


Teague Crehore 
Augustin Clement, Jr. 
Arthur Cartwright 
Samuel Capen, 2d 
Bernard Capen, 2d 
Joseph Crosby 
David Cremin 
Richard Davis 
Abraham Dickerman 
Richard Denton 
Charles Davenport 
Thomas Drake 
William Daniell 
Rev. John Danforth 



John Deane 
Walter Deane 
Nathaniel Duncan, Jr. 
Peter Duncan 
Ebenezer Davenport 
William Dyer 
John Davenport 
Humphrey Davie 
William Davenport 
Thomas Davenport, Jr. 
Abraham Dike 
Thomas Danforth 
Gilbert Endicott 
Daniel Elder 
John French 
Edmund Forward 
Timothy Foster 
Rev. Josiah Flint 
James Foster 
Elisha Foster 
John Foster 
Richard Francis 
Anthony Fisher 
Standfast Foster 
Hopestill Foster, Jr. 
Anthony Gulliford or 

John Gurnsey 
John Gill 
Henry Gurnsey 
Nathaniel Glover 
Nicholas George 
Thomas Gattliffe 
Habakkuk Glover 
John Glover, Jr. 
Thomas Glover 
Joshua George 
Peletiah Glover 
Nathaniel Glover, Jr. 
Nicholas George, Jr. 
Thomas Graves 
Jacob Hewins 
Richard Hall 
Joseph Holmes 
James Hosley 
vSamuel Hall 


Israel Howe 
Obadiah Hawes 
Nathaniel Howard 
John Holbrook 
Richard Hall, Jr. 
John Holmes 
Eleazer Hawes 
Thomas Holman 
Goodman Haven 
Joshua Henshaw 
Daniel Henshaw 
Ralph Hutchinson 
Thomas Hilton 
Stephen Hoppin 
Thomas Holbrook 
John Holland, Jr. 
Thomas Holland 
Michael Holloway 
Jonathan Hill 
Jonathan Hall 
James Humphrey 
Peter Hix 
Samuel Hill 
Hopestill Humphrey 
William Howe 
Samuel Hix 
Isaac Howe 
Ralph Houghton 
David Holmes 
Abraham Howe 
Walter Harris 
Ralph Houghton, Jr. 
Jeremiah Hawes 
Nathaniel Holmes 
Samuel Humphrey 
John Isles 
William Ireland 
Isaac Jones 
David Jones 
Samuel Jones 
Joseph Jewett 
Timothy Jones 
Jonathan Jones 
Henry Kibby 
George Kimvright 
Stephen Kinsley 



Enos Kinsley 
John Kinsley, Jr. 
John Kinsley, 3d 
Eldad Kins-ley 
Bustian Kern 
Peter Lyon 
Nicholas Lawrence 
Henry Leadbetter 
George Lyon 

Joseph Long, Sen. 
Nicholas Lawrence, Jr, 
Rev. Joseph Lord 
Henry Layeland 
Joseph Leeds 
Joseph Long, Jr, 
Thomas Loring 
John Lewis 
Benjamin Leeds 
Nathaniel Lyon 
Eben r Lyon 
Margery Laner 
? John Minot 

Mahaleel Munnings 
Timothy Mather 
^ Stephen Minot 
Henry Merrifield 
James Minot 
Thomas Moseley 
Thomas Millet, Jr. 
Samuel Maxfield 
Clement Maxfield 
John Moseley, Jr. 
Henry Mason 
Atherton Mather 
Henry More 
Israel Mead 
Rev. Samuel Mather 
Rev. Nathaniel Mather 
Rev. Eleazer Mather 
Rev. Increase Mather 
Sampson Mason 
John Merrifield 
Cornelius Morgan 
John Mason 
Goodman More ton 

John Maxfield 
John Minot, Jr. 
Joseph Mather 
Samuel Minot 
Thomas Meekins 
Ebenezer Moseley 
John Marsh 
Joseph Morse 
Anthony Newton 
Thomas Narrowmoore 
William Osborne 
Peter O Kelly 
John Pope, Jr. 
Peter Pocock 
William Pillsberry 
Robert Pond 
John Plumb 
Enoch Place 
Thomas Pierce 
Thomas Pope 
John Pay son 
Richard Puffer 
Oliver Partridge 
Daniel Preston 
Edward Pay son 
John Pratt 
William Pratt 
Samuel Paul 
Samuel Payson 
Ephraim Payson 
William Pigrom 
William Peacock 
John Pelton 
Robert Pond, Jr. 
Robert Pelton 
Samuel Pelton 
Francis Price 
Matthew Pimer 
Joshua Pomroy 
Jasper Rush 
Jeremiah Rodgers 
Robert Redman 
James Robinson 
Henry Robie 
Samuel Robinson 
William Roval 



Henry .Roberts 
John Robinson 
Samuel Robinson, 2d 
Ebenezer Robinson 
Rev. John Robinson 
William Rawson 
Thomas Robinson 
Thomas Robinson, son 

of James 
Samuel Robinson, Jr. 
Increase Robinson 
Samuel Rigby 
John Richards 
Edward Rossiter 
Isaac Royal 
William Row 
Roger Sumner 
John Smith, Jr. 
Robert Spur 
Robert Sanders 
Robert Stanton 
Obadiah Swift 
Samuel Sumner 
William Salesbury 
Increase Sumner 
Lawrence Smith 
Robert Searl 
Richard Sykes 
Abraham Staple 
J^Hon. William Stoughton 
George Sumner 
Joseph Shelton 
William Sumner, Jr. 
William Smede 
Ralph Sammes 
Thomas Swift, Jr. 
Robert Stiles 
John Stiles 
Mr. Sunderland 
John Steele 
Robert Sharp 
David Sellick 
Edward Savage 
Benjamin Tuchel 
Timothy Tileston 
James Trowbridge 
Samuel Trescott 
Ralph Tompkins 

Rev. William Thomson 
Praise Ever Turner 
Increase Turner 
William Turner 
Samuel Topliff 
Thomas Tolman, Jr. 
John Tolman. 
James Tucker 
John Trescott 
Hon. William Tailer 
Onisephorus Tileston 
Timothy Tileston, Jr. 
Joseph Twitchell 
Thomas Treadvveli 
Mr. Ting 

Thomas Trowbridge 
Peter Talbot 
Thomas Vose 
Edward Vose 
Ammiel Weeks 
Timothy Wales 
Richard Way 
William Weeks 
Enoch Wiswall 
Thomas Wainwright 
John Wales 
Richard Withington 
Ebenezer Williams 
Joseph Weeks 
Rev. John Wilson, Jr. 
Joseph Wilson 
Samuel Wadsworth 
Richard Williams 
George Wilkes 
William Ware 
James White 
Capt. John Withington 
Henry Withington, 2d 
Roger Willyes 
Ebenezer Williams, Jr. 
Philip Withington 
Nicholas White 
Edward Wyatt 
John Wilcocke 
Thomas W r eeks 
Aaron Way 
Rev. Ichabod Wiswall 
John Ward 



Robert Willyes Smith Woodward 

Ebenezer Withington Elias Wood 

Samuel Webb Ralph Warner 

Samuel Wales Thomas Wilkinson 

Joseph Withington Henry Ware 

Nathaniel Wyatt Dr. Smith. 


Removal of part of the Colony to Connecticut The Pequot War 
Orders of the General Court and of the Town. 

THE year 16*36 was an important era in the his 
tory of Dorchester. A large portion of the first 
inhabitants left the town for a new settlement on 
the borders of the Connecticut River (Windsor), 
and their places were filled by the Rev. Richard 
Mather and most of the one hundred passengers 
who came with him from England. Many grants 
of land were made, and many orders passed by ten 
men chosen by the town for the purpose. Seven of 
these men were to make the orders, and having been 
first published on a lecture day, they were not to be 
" disallowed " by the plantation. This year were 

L. also chosen twelve Selectmen ; viz., Mr. Stoughton, 
Mr. Glover, Henry Withington, Nathaniel Duncan, 

. George Minot, Richard Collicot, John Holman, Mr. 
Hill, William Gaylard, Christopher Gibson, John 
Pierce and Mr. Jones. The Church was likewise 
re-organized and the following Covenant agreed to. 

" Dorchester Church Covenant made y e 23d Day of if 
6 Month 1636. 

"We whose names are subscribed being called of God 
t o Join ourselues together in Church Communion ; from 


our Hearts acknowledgeing our own unworthiness of such 
a privilege, or of y e least of Gods mercies; and likewise 
acknowledgeing our disability to keep Covenant with God, 
or to perform any Spiritual Duty which he calleth us unto, 
unless y e Lord Jesus do enable us thereunto by his Spirit 
dwelling in us ; Do in y e Name of Christ Jesus our Lord, 
& in trust and Confidence of his free Grace assisting us, 
freely Covenant & Bind ourselues, Solemnly in y e presence 
of God himself, his Holy Angels, and all his servants here 
present ; That we will by his Grace Assisting, endeavour 
constantly to walk together as a Right Ordered Congrega 
tion of Christ, according to all y e Holy Rules of a Church 
Body rightly established, so far as w r e do already know it 
to be our duty, or shall further understand out of God s 
Holy Word : Promising first & aboue all to cleaue unto him 
as our Chief and only Good, and to our Lord Jesus Christ 
as our only Spiritual Husband & Lord, & our only High 
Priest & Prophet & King. And for y e furthering of us to 
keep this blessed communion with God and his Son Jesus 
Christ, & to grow up more fully herein ; we do likewise 
promise by his Grace assisting us, to endeavour y e Estab 
lishing amongst ourselues all his Holy Ordinances which 
he hath appointed for his Church here on Earth, and to 
obserue all & euery of them in such sort as shall be most 
agreeable to his Will, opposing to y e utmost of our power 
whatsoever is contrary thereunto, and bewailing from our 
Hearts our own neglect hereof in former times, and our 
pointing ourselues therein with any Sinfull Invention of 

" And lastly, we do hereby Covenant and promise to fur 
ther to our utmost power, the best Spiritual good of each 
other, & of all arid every one that may become members of 
this Congregation, by mutual Instruction, Reprehension, 
Exhortation, Consolation & Spiritual watchfulness over one 
another for good. And to be subject in and for y e Lord 
to all y e Administrations & Censures of y e Congregation, 


so far as y e same shall be Guided according to y e rules of 
Gods most holy word. Of the integrity of our Hearts 
herein, we call God y e Searcher of all Hearts to Witness ; 
Beseeching him so to bless us in this & all our Enterprises, 
as we shall sincerely endeavor by y e assistance of his 
Grace to obserue his Holy Covenant in all y e branches of 
it inviolable for ever ; and where we shall fail, there to wait 
upon y e Lord Jesus for pardon and acceptance & healing 
for his Name s sake. 



Cattle were at this time very scarce, and as nearly 
all wished to secure a stock for their own use and 
comfort, as well as for profit, the prices were very 
high ; cows and oxen being worth from 30 to 40 
each. Goats were also in demand, and many of 
them kept. 

This year the trouble, which had been some time 
brewing, broke out between the settlers of the Bay 
and the Pequot Indians. This tribe never assimi 
lated with their white neighbors neither with the 
English on the North East nor the Dutch on the 
West. About July, of this year, Capt. John Old- 
ham was murdered by the Indians at Block Island ; 
and as he was a man universally known both in the 
Plymouth and Massachusetts colonies, it was resolv 
ed to put a stop to such proceedings, and punish the 
aggressors. For this purpose, four companies were 
raised, commanded by Capt. John Underbill, Capt. 
Nathaniel Turner, Ens. William Jennison and Ens. 
Richard Davenport, and the whole expedition placed 


under the command of Gov. Endicott. This was 
the first serious warfare that occurred after the set 
tlement of the colony, and the whole vicinity were 
deeply interested in the event. The following ac 
count of the death of Oldham, is copied from that 
excellent work, S. G. Drake s " History of Boston." 

" It proved that Captain Oldham was killed by some 
Narraganset Indians who happened to be at Block Island 
at the time of his visit. The discovery of the murder and 
its perpetrators was accidental, and happened in this way. 
Captain John Gallop, an intrepid mariner of Boston, being 
upon a trading expedition, put into Block Island to traf 
fic with the natives. He had with him his son John, 
another son not mentioned by name, and a servant, who is 
described as a strong, stout fellow. As they approached 
the island, they discovered a vessel making off from the 
shore, under suspicious circumstances ; for those on board 
of it managed the sails in an awkward manner. Immedi 
ately after, they saw that it was full of Indians. Though 
his men numbered but four, including himself, Captain 
Gallop determined to capture the piratical vessel, as he now 
conceived her to be such. He therefore fired upon her as 
soon as he was near enough, and then stood off to ascer 
tain what effect his fire had upon the pirates ; for, owing 
to their numbers, he was afraid to board them at once, as 
i they stood ready armed, with guns, pikes and swords. 
To attempt their capture under these circumstances was cer 
tainly desperate ; but Gallop had the advantage of being 
able to manoeuvre his vessel, while his enemies were such 
sorry sailors that they appear to have had little or no con 
trol over their craft. Gallop, therefore, having drawn off 
to a fair distance, made all sail, with the prow of his vessel 
aimed directly against the quarter of the enemy. There 
being a good breeze, he struck her with such force that she 
was almost overset by the collision ; and this so frightened 


the Indians, that six of them jumped into the sea and were 
drowned ; yet the English captain did not dare to board 
her, but stood off again to prepare for another broadside 
of the same kind. His success increased. The next time 
he drove the fluke of his anchor through the bows of the 
pirate, and remained fast to her. In the mean time he 
raked her fore-and-aft with his small shot, till every Indian 
had hid himself below. The English might now have 
boarded her, but the Captain concluded to continue his 
successful broadsides, as his anchor had broken its hold, 
and his bark was drifting from his antagonist. As soon as 
the Indians saw him hauling off, four or five more of them 
leaped overboard and were drowned. Seeing this, Gallop 
came alongside and boarded them. The Indians, by this 
time, if not before, being satisfied that all was lost, one 
came out of the hold and surrendered ; and being bound, 
was put into the hold. Then another came up, and he was 
bound likewise ; but not daring to put him into the hold 
with the other, fearing one might unloose the other, they 
threw him bound into the sea. There were still two left in 
the hold, and these defended themselves so bravely with 
swords, that Gallop resolved to secure them there, and to 
sail away with his prize. He therefore made her fast, to his 
own vessel and proceeded on with her in tow ; but in the 
night the wind came on to blow, and he was forced to cut 
her adrift, and thus he lost her. He soon after arrived at 
Saybrook with the Indian captive, and in due time returned 
with him to Boston. 

" When Captain Gallop got possession of the enemy s 
vessel, he found the body of Captain Oldham under an old 
seine, yet warm ; and though the head was dissevered and 
disfigured, he knew him well, and exclaimed, Ah, brother 
Oldham ! is it thee ? I am resolved to avenge thy death ! 
Thus being sure that he had engaged the murderers of his 
friend, his naturally strong arm was doubly nerved by the 
justice of his cause," 


After scattering the Pequots and destroying much 
of their property, the expedition returned, having 
effected little or no good. 

It will be interesting to persons who have long 
heen acquainted with the localities in Boston Bay, 
to know that in September, 1636, the General Court 
granted "12 acres of land to John Gallop, upon 
Nixe s Island, to enjoy to him and his heirs forever, 
if the island be so much." 

This is the first year in which we find the names 
of the officers of a military company in the town. 
Israel Stoughton was the Captain, Nathaniel Dun- "*|f 
can Lieutenant, and John Holman Ensign. But on 
the General Court Records is the following grant to 
Dep. Gov. Ludlow, in 1634 : " Further, there is 
leave granted to the Dy Gouv r to have his Indian 
trayned with the rest of the company att Dorchester, 
and to shoote at fowle." 

Up to this time it is supposed that the following 
roads were laid out in the town. One beginning at 
the north-east end of what is now known as Plea 
sant street (which street, from the corner of Stough 
ton to Cottage street, is believed to have been the 
first laid out in the town), running west to the Five 
Corners and east to the marsh (then called the Calf 
Pasture). This is now called Pond street and Cres 
cent Avenue. From the Five Corners it run north 
east to a little below the present residence of Capt. 
William Clapp, where there was a gate, which was 
the entrance to Dorchester Neck, where the cattle 
were pastured. From Pond street, about twenty 
rods east of the Five Corners, it curved round by 
the present houses of Richard Clapp and Wm. T. 


Andrews, late Chesnut street. This street was dis 
continued in 1853, by vote of the town. On this 
street lived Ilev. Richard Mather, Roger Williams, 
and others. The road leading from the north-east 
end of Pleasant street to the Five Corners, now the 
east end of Cottage street, was also laid out, as well 
as the following : one round Jones s Hill ; one 
running to Fox Point, now Savin Hill Avenue ; 
one from the Five Corners to the south-west corner 
of burying ground, now Boston street ; from that 
point to Roxbury ; from the Five Corners to Hum 
phreys street, also Humphreys street ; from the 
present location of the Alms-house to Stoughton s 
Mill, at the Lower Mills ; Marsh street, which led 
to Penny Ferry, and from thence to Plymouth Co 
lony. It will be perceived that this arrangement 
brought the inhabitants in proximity to each other, 
and furnished a road round several comparatively 
small portions of land. Care was taken to retain 
the right of way to the sea, to watering places and 
over marshes ; the marsh nearest the upland being 
considered the most valuable for getting hay, &c., 
the owners of such land were obliged to put up with 
this inconvenience. 

July 5, 1636. The following order was passed in 
relation to some of those who owned land on Fox 
Point (Savin Hill). 

" It is granted to Mr. Ludlow, Mr. Hill, and the 
neighbors that have lots with them, that they may 
run a pale down into the sea at the corner of Mr. 
Ludlow s, and another between Mr. Hill and John 
Eeles, for the securing their cows and saving of 
much fencing, provided they leave styles and gates 


for persons and cattle, when persons are disposed 
to travel or drive cattle or swine that way to 

1637. The Selectmen were John Glover, Nath l 
Duncan, Mr. Jones, James Bates, Richard Collicut, 
John Holman, Edward Clap, Roger Clap, and Win. 
Sumner. This year, the grant of land to the Ply 
mouth Colony line, usually called the New Grant, 
was made by the General Court. 

The finishing blow was given to the Pequots, this 
year. Israel Stoughton commanded the men raised L*- 
in this quarter, and Rev. Mr. Wilson accompanied 
the expedition. The following is from the General 
Court records : 

"The 18 of the 2nd mo., 1637. This Court 
being assembled for the special occation of p se- 
cuting the warr against the Pekoits, it was agreed 
and ordered that the warre having been undertaken 
vpon iust grounds should be seriously p secuted, 
and for this end there shall be 160 men p vided to 
bee chosen out of the severall townes, according to 
the p portion vnderwritten, viz. : out of Newbery, 
8; Ipswich, 17 then 6 more; Salem, 18 6 more; 
Saugust, 11 5 more; Watertown, 14 5 ; Newtown, 
093; Marblehead, 031; Charlestowne, 124; 
Boston, 26 9; Roxbury, 10 3; Dorchester, 13 
4; Waymouth, 052; Hingham, 062; Mead- 
ford, 031." 

By the foregoing order it appears that it was 
found necessary to raise an additional number of 
men after the complement of 160 was made up. It 
is presumed that the Plymouth men were also put 


under the same command, for we find in Mass. Hist. 
Soc. Coll., vol. 3, 3d series, the following extract. 
" Then came Capt. Stoten, with an army of 300 
men, to kill the Pequits." It would be interesting 
to us of the present day to know the names of those 
17 men, from this town, who joined the expedition. 
This year the General Court assessed a rate of 
400, which was divided as follows, and shows the 
relative standing of the towns at that time: viz., 
Boston, 59 4; Salem, 45 12; Dorchester, 42 6; 
Charlestown, 42 6 ; Ipswich, 34 12 ; Watertown, 
30_S ; Roxbury, 308; Newtown, 29 12; Sau- 
gus, 28 16; Medford, 24 12; Newbmy, 16 18; 
Hingham, 8 10; Weymouth, 6 16. 

The controversy on religious topics ran very high 
this year, as well as the last ; and the liberal party, 
under the lead of Mrs. Hutchinson, and her brother 
Rev. Mr. Wheelwright, were well nigh silenced be 
fore the close of 1637, by the imprisonrhent of the 

former and the disarming of her frienofe. As no 


Dorchester names appear in the list of combatants, 

it is presumed the people of the town firmly clung 
to the rigid side of the question, and walked hand in 
hand with their pastor, Mr. Mather. The liberal 
party seemed principally to belong to Boston/tind 
were very partial to Gov. Vane ; but the neighboring 
towns out-voted them, and clung to Gov. Winthrop. 
In relation to the pasturing of cattle, they were 
to be kept this year under the charge of Matthias 
Sension and Thomas Sanford, in the ordinary cow- 
pasture (which was a large tract of undivided land 
laying in the vicinity of the Upper Mills), not on 


the Neck nor about town, upon pain of ten shillings. 
All who lived north of the Meeting-house, were to 
put their cows into the open place before it, within 
an hour after sunrise, and then the keepers were 
to drive them along through the town towards the 
pasture, blowing a horn as they went, and the 
balance that were not on the road were to be before 
Mr. Stoughton s or Mr. Minot s house. 

An order was made to take care of the business 
of those who were chosen for soldiers, that it might 
not suffer in their absence. The 9th of May, of this 
year, measures were taken to divide the land on the 
Neck, as it was called, now mostly included in 
South Boston ; and the following order was passed : 

" It is ordered that the necke of land, contagne- 
ing by measure about 480 acres, shall be from 
henceforth the P P inheritance of the p sent inhabit 
ants of the "townc of Dorchester, in this manner. 
Every hoame lott that hath a dwelling house there 
on or inhabitant incumbent in the towne, he or it 
shall have one acre for the said lott, & other hoame 
lotts half an acre ; then remayndr to belong to the 
same planters by this rule ; three-fifths to men s 
estates owne P P as usual they have burden, and a 
fifth to p sons equally thus counted, all men with 
their wives and children in the plantation under 
their p sent government in families to be counted. 
P vided allowance be made where houses and lotts 
are in tire, all be it for the p sent they have no 
p sons incumbent according to the p portion of such 
as lately did inhabit them." 


1638. Selectmen John Glover, Nath l Duncan, 
Humphrey Atherton, Mr. Jones, Christopher Gib 
son, Mr. Phillips, James Bates, William Sumner, 
Nicholas Upsal and John Capen. This year the 
General Court licensed Mr. Duncan as follows: 
"March 12, 1638. Natha. Duncan of Dorchester 
is licensed to sell wine and strong water." They 
also passed the following. " Bray Wilkins hath 
liberty to set up a house and keepe a ferry over the 
Naponset Hyver, and to have a penny a p son to 
bee directed by Mr. Staughton and Mr. Glover." 

The Court also passed a law concerning tobacco, 
which undoubtedly caused no little excitement, per 
haps as much as has been caused by what is known 
as the Maine Liquor Law of a later date. The fol 
lowing is a copy. 

" This Court finding that since the repealing of 
the former laws against tobacco, the law is more 
abused than before, it hath therefore ordered that no 
man shall take any tobacco in the field except in 
his iourney, or at meale times, vpon pain of 12 d for 
every offence, nor shall take any tobacco in (or so 
near) any dwelling house, barne, Corne or Haye, as 
may be likely to endanger the firing thereof, vpon 
the paine of 2 s for every offence, nor shall take any 
tobacco in any Inne or common victualling house ; 
except in a private roome there ; so as nither the 
master of the same house, nor any other gueste 
there shall take offence thereat ; w ch if they do, 
then such p son is forthw th to forbeare, vpon paine 
of 2 9 6 d for every offence." 


August 3d, of this year, there was a violent storm. 
Winthrop has the following account of it. " Mo. 
(6) 3.] In the night was a very great tempest, or 
Hiracano at S. W. which drave a ship on ground at 
Charlestown, and brake down the Windmill there, 
and did much other harm. It flowed twice in six 
hours, and about Narragansett it raised the tide 
fourteen or fifteen foot above the ordinary spring 
tides, upright." 

Winthrop says, " There came over this summer 
twenty ships, and at least three thousand persons, 
so as they were forced to look out new plantations." 

A Church was gathered this year at Weymouth, 
under the sanction of the proper authorities, and 
Mr. Lenthial, who appears to have been in advance 
of his time in liberality, caused some of the elders 
to suppose that he had imbibed certain of the errors 
of Mrs. Hutchinson. They determined to check the 
heresy in the bud, and Mr. L. was therefore called 
before the General Court to retract his opinions, and 
several of his friends were punished. Some of the 
Dorchester people seem to have been under no small 
excitement about this matter, for two of our Mr. s 
a title of no small signification in those days were 
brought before the Court, and " Mr. Ambrose Mar 
tin, for calling the Church Covenant a stinking car 
rion, and a human invention, and saying he won 
dered at God s patience, feared it would end in the 
sharp, and said the ministers did dethrone Christ 
and set up themselves ; he was fined 10 and coun 
selled to go to Mr. Mather to be instructed by him." 


Likewise, " Mr. Thomas Makepeace, because of Iris 
novel disposition, was informed we were weary of 
him unless he reforme." 

At this day the record of the Court appears as 
novel to us, as did to them the disposition of Mr. 
Makepeace. It has heen so in all time ; the con 
servatives are weary of the reformers, and every inch 
of ground, both in matters of Church and State, is 
closely contested before yielded. 

"April 23, 1638. It is ordered that the land for 
the pits which John Benliarn had used for making 
brick, shall still be in common for the use of the 

Oct. 30, 1638. For the better encouragement of 
any that shall destroy wolves, it is ordered that for 
every wolf any man shall take in Dorchester planta 
tion, he shall have 20s. by the town for the first 
wolf, 15s. for the second, and for every wolf after 
wards 10s., besides the Country s pay." 

1639. Selectmen John Glover, Thomas Haw 
kins, Nathaniel Duncan, Mr. Jones (probably Tho 
mas), John Wiswall, John Pierce and Humphrey 

This year Thompson s Island was appropriated 
for the benefit of the town school. It had been 
granted to Dorchester by the General Court in 1637. 
the town to pay a yearly rent of twelve pence to the 
treasurer ; but it subsequently lost this possession, 
as will appear by the following, 1000 acres being 
granted in lieu thereof. 

It has been supposed that Thompson s Island, in 


Boston Harbor, was first occupied in 1624, by David 
Thompson, a Scotchman, sent over with others to 
Piscataqua (now Portsmouth) by Gorges and Ma 
son the year before, to establish a fishery at that 
place ; but later evidence shows that Wm. Trevour 
was the first civilized occupant. Thompson left 
Piscataqua and took up his abode upon it six years 
before the Bay was settled ; and after the Colony 
was fully established he procured a confirmation of 
his title to the Island from the General Court. 

The following depositions relate to its earliest 

" I, William Trevour, testify that < Thompson s Island 
is * the formerly called Island of Trevour which I took 
possession of in 1619, and declared the same (as the effect 
of my proceedings) to Mr. David Thompson in London ; 
on which information the said T. obtained a grant and pat 
ten for peaceable and quiet possession of s d island to him 
and heirs forever : I being in the Company s service at the 
said time. To this I testify on oath, 27 of 2d mo., 1650. 
Deposed the day before named before me, Incr. Nowell. 

" That this is a true copy taken and compared with the 
original left on file, 

" Attests ED. RAWSON, Seer." 

11 1, Wm. Blaxton, testify that the Island called Tom- 
son s Island is by Dorchester neck, and that I heard ould 
Mr. Thompson affirm that he had a patten for it, and that 
there is an harbour in that island for a boate which none of 
the rest of the islands had, and that those that put hoggs 
there doe it by his consent to my knowledge." Taken up 
on oath this 5 th of the 5 th mo. 1650. William Hibbins. 

" That this is a true copy compared with that left on file, 

Attests E. R,, Sec." 



" July 15 th , 1650. I doe testify that in the yeare 1620 
I Came into this Country and I take it the same yeare I was 
in the Massachusetts Bay with William Trevoyre and then 
being upon the Island lying neere Dorchester And Called 
the said Island, Island Trevoyre and then no Natives there 
Inhabiting neither was there any signe of any that had been 
there that I could perceive, nor of many, many yeares after. 


" Further I Cann testify that David Thompson shewed 
me a very Ancient Patient & that Isle Thompson was in 
it, but the terms of it I cannot remember. 


" Deposed before the whole Court, 25 October, 1650. 

U E. R., Seer. 

" That this is A true Copie Compar d w th its originall 
left on file, Attests EDWARD RAWSON, Secret." 

Saggamore of Aggawam s Deposition concerning 
Thompson s Island. 

u I Saggamore of Agamam testify that in the yeare 1619 
or thereabouts as I remember, I went in my ovvne person 
with Mr. David Thompson and then he took possession of 
the Hand before Dorchester, he likeing no other but that 
because of the smale Riuer, and then no Indians upon it 
or any Wigwam or planting, nor hath been by any Endians 
inhabitted or clayrned since, but two years agoe by Harm- 
ben an old Endian of Dorchester. Witness my hand, this 
13th of July, before Mr. Greenleafe, 1620 / 50. 



" This is a true copy, compared with its originall on file, 
as attests EDWARD RAWSON, 

Archives of Salem.] 


The subsequent grant of the Island to the Town 
of Dorchester is thus recorded. 

" Tomson s Hand is granted to the Inhabitants of Dor 
chester, to injoy to them and their heirs and successors 
which shall inhabit there forever, payinge the yearly Rent 
of twelue pence to the Treasurer for y e time beinge. At 
Newtowne by a generall Court held there 2d, 9th, 1637." 
Town Records, Vol. II. , p. 37. 

Petition from Dorchester to the General Court. 
" To the honoured Generall Court now assembled at Bos 
ton, the humble petition of the Town of Dorchester. 
" WHEREAS this honored Court formerly granted unto 
the Towne of Dorchester the Hand called Thompson s 
Hand, and the inhabitants of the said Towne long since 
granted the same towards the maintenance of a free schoole 
there forever : And whereas this Court at the last Session 
thereof vpon the petition of Mr. John Thompson for the 
said Hand (Mr. Mavericke testifying on his behalfe, that in 
the yeare 1626 Mr. David Thompson his father took pos 
session thereof as a vacuum domicilium, and dyinge, the 
said John Thompson when he came to age demanded the 
same) granted unto the said John Thompson the said Hand 
forever. The which we think this Court would not have 
so granted unto him before the Towne had been called, 
and liberty given them to have answered and pleaded or 
otherwise dealt with the said John Thompson about the 
said Hand ; but that the jurisdiction thereof, or some other 
important reasons for common good, moved the Court 
thereunto : We therefore, not doubting of the justice and 
favor of the Courte towards vs and the furtherance of a 
free schoole amongst vs (which otherwise is like to faile) 
doe humblie desire this honoured Courte to grant vs some 
Hand (within the Courte s power to grant) which may 


help vs towards the maintenance of a free schoole in lieu of 
that which is now taken away, and not only wee but pos- 
teritie while time shall last will have cause to bless you, 
your justice and piety in advancing learninge. 
" And so we rest 

" Your humble Petitioners, 

" Subscribed for them all by the Selectmen, 


On the Petition is written what follows, viz. : 

" The Dept s are willing to answer this pet. when the 
Towne presents that which is fit to be given and before our 
honoured Magistrate s consent therevnto." 

Although the town lost this island in its corpo 
rate capacity, it continued within its territory and 
under its jurisdiction until 1834, when it was set 
off to Boston, to be used as a Farm School ; and 
whenever it shall cease to be used for that purpose, 
is again to be included within the limits of Dor 

It has been supposed by many persons that a mill 
was formerly located on this island, and the stream 
on the westerly side has long been known as the 
out-let to the mill-pond ; but the depositions of the 
Sagamore of Agawam and William Blackstone set- 


ties the question that there never was a mill in that 
place, but that the " smale lliuer " was running in 
and out with the tide long before the settlement on 
the main land, and before the sound of a mill had 
broken the stillness of this western world. There 
is no doubt that the Sagamore was mistaken as to 
the time he went there with Mr. Thompson, although 
the latter undoubtedly had visited it before he took 
up his abode there. 

" This year," says Blake, " was an order for mount 
ing y e great guns at Mr. Hawkins, on Rock-hill." 
This place was undoubtedly what is now called Sa 
vin Hill, although the Meeting-house Hill has been 
the spot usually designated as the place. A little 
observation will show that the former was much 
the most desirable and eligible location for a fortifi 
cation, commanding as it did the mouth of the Ne- 
ponset, the bay, and the passage to the hill by land ; 
besides Mr. Hawkins lived on the plain south of the 
hill, and most of the inhabitants were in his neigh 
borhood, and in a northerly direction therefrom. 
The southerly point of Savin Hill, on the flat rock, 
was just the spot for the " great guns " then, and 
would be now, in case of invasion. 

The celebrated law in relation to wearing super 
fluities, passed the General Court this year, and was 
doubtless the occasion of no little excitement. The 
following is a copy. 

"4 (7) 1639. Whereas there is much complaint of the 
excessive wearing of lace and other superfluities tending 
to little use, or benefit, but to the nourishing of pride, and 


exhausting of men s estates, and also of evil example to 
others ; it is therefore ordered that henceforward no person 
whatsoever shall pr sume to buy or sell within this juris 
diction any manner of lace to bee worne or used within 
o r limits. 

"And that no taylor, or any other person whatsoever, 
shall heareafler set any lace, or points vpon any garments, 
either linnen, wollen, or any other wearing cloathes what 
soever, and that no p son heareafter shall be imployed in 
making any manner of lace, but such as they shall sell to 
such persons, as shall and will transport the same out of 
this iurisdiction, who in such case shall have liberty to buy 
the same ; And that hereafter no garment shall be made 
w th short sleeves, whereby the nakedness of the arme may 
be discovered in the wearing thereof, and such as have 
garments already made w th short sleeves shall not hereafter 
wear the same, unless they cover their armes to the wrist, 
with linnen or otherwise ; And that heareafter no person 
whatsoever shall make any garment for women, or any of 
their sex, w th sleeves more than halfe an elle wide in the 
widest place thereof, and so proportionable for biger or 
smaller persons ; And for p r sent reformation of immode 
rate great sleeves and some other superfluities, w ch may 
easily be redressed w th out much p r udice, or the spoile of 
garments, as imoderate great breches, knots of ryban, 
broad shoulder bands and rayles, silk rases, double ruffes 
and caffes, &c." 

" Oct. 31, 1639. It is ordered that Mr. Atherton 
and John Wiswell shall procure wheels to be made 
and carnages to mount the pieces that are at Mr. 
Hawkins s by the sea, and cause them to be mount- 
ed, and also the drake at Mr. Stoughton s to be * * 
* * * the charge to be paid out of the 40 rate." 

1640. There is but little of interest recorded 


under the date of this year. " Thomas Tylestone 
and Edward Winshott were fined 6 s . 8 d . for not at 
tending the iury when they were called." Miantun- 
nomoh, the celebrated Chief of the Narragansetts, 
visited Boston the latter part of this year, " and 
was met at Dorchester by Captain Gibbons and a 
guard of twelve musketeers, and well entertained at 
Roxbury by the Governour." This year the town 
chose overseers of the high ways. 

1641. Selectmen Nathl Duncan, Humphrey 
Atherton, Mr. Clark, Richard Collicut, John Hol 
land, Roger Clap, John Pierce. About this time 
Mr. Jonathan Burr was invited to settle in the mi 
nistry here with Mr. Mather ; and during the pre 
liminaries a controversy broke out similar to that 
which had occurred in Boston Mr. Burr, of course, 
being on the liberal side. It was a matter of great 
interest ; in which all. or nearly all, were concerned. 
The following is Hubbard s account of the affair, 
being mostly a copy from Winthrop. 

" The Church of Dorchester, not contenting themselves 
with a single officer in the ministry of their Church, in 
vited one Mr. Burr (who had been a minister in England, 
and of very good report there, for piety and learning), 
with intent also to call him to office. And accordingly, 
after he was received a member of their Church, and had 
given good proof of his piety, and other ministerial abili 
ties, they gave him a call to office, which he deferring to 
accept upon some private reasons, known to himself, some 
of the Church took some exceptions at some things, which 
he in the mean time delivered, his expressions possibly not 
well understood, or so far wire-drawn that they seemed 


too much inclining to the notions then prevailing much at 
Boston, and they desired him to give satisfaction, and he 
not seeing need for it, it was agreed that Mr. Mather and 
he should confer together, and so the Church should know 
where the difference lay. Accordingly Mr. Burr wrote 
his judgment in the points of difference in such manner 
and terms, as from some of his propositions, taken singly, 
something that was erroneous might be gathered, and 
might seem naturally to follow therefrom ; but was so 
qualified in other parts as might admit of a charitable con 
struction. Mr. Mather reports to the Church the seeming 
erroneous matter that might be collected, without mention 
ing the qualification, or acquainting Mr. Burr with it be 
forehand. When this was published, Mr. Burr disclaim 
ed the erroneous matter, and Mr. Mather maintained it 
from his writings. Whereupon the Church was divided 
about it, some joining with the one, and some with the 
other, so as it grew to some heat, and alienation of minds, 
and many days were spent for reconciliation, but all in 
vain. In the end they agreed to call in help from other 
Churches ; so as the 2nd of February, 1640, there was a 
meeting at Dorchester of the Governour, and another of 
the magistrates, and ten of the ministers of the neighbouring 
Churches, wherein four days were spent in opening the 
cause, and such offence as had fallen out in the prosecu 
tion ; and in conclusion they all declared their judgment 
and advice in the case to this effect : That both sides had 
cause to be humbled for their failings ; Mr. Burr for his 
doubtful and unsafe expressions, and backwardness to give 
clear satisfaction ; Mr. Mather for his inconsideration, both 
in not acquainting Mr. Burr with his collections, before he 
published them to the Church, and in not certifying the 
qualifications of the erroneous expressions which were in 
his writings ; for which they were advised to set a day 
apart for reconciliation. Upon this Mr. Mather and Mr. 


Burr took the blame of their failings upon themselves, and 
freely submitted to the judgement and advice given, to 
which the rest of the Church yielded a silent assent. And 
God was much glorified in the close thereof, and Mr. Burr 
did fully renounce these errours of which he was suspected, 
confessing that he had been in the dark about those points, 
till God, by occasion of this agitation, had cleared them to 
him ; which he did with much meekness and tears. But 
that holy man continued not long after, being observed to 
express so much of heaven in his publick ministry, as his 
hearers judged he would not continue long upon the earth, 
as it came to pass." 

Mr. Burr died Aug. 9, 1641, and was buried in 
our burial ground, but no stone marks the spot. 

Sept. 11, of this year, there was " a great training 
at Boston two days," says Winthrop ; and adds fur 
ther, " About 1200 men were exercised in most 
sorts of land service ; yet it was observed that there 
was no man drunk, though there was plenty of 
wine and strong beer in the town, not an oath sworn, 
no quarrel, nor any hurt done." In this " great 
training " our Dorchester soldiers were of course 
included and took the right ; for Prince says that 
the town, " in all military musters or civil assem 
blies where Dignity is regarded, us d to have the 
precedency." This muster might with great pro 
priety be regarded as a model, which probably no one 
since has attained to. 

The fishing business was actively carried on this 
season, and according to Winthrop 300,000 dry fish 
were sent to the market. 

1642. Selectmen John Glover, Edward Breck, 


John Holman, James Bates, Christopher Gibson, 
Nicholas Upsall, Thomas Clark. " This year it was 
ordered that every person that had any matter to 
offer to y e Town must first acquaint y e Selectmen 
with it, or else it was not to be debated on, under 
a penalty ; agreeable to y e present Law, requiring 
all y e matter of y e meeting to be expressed in y e war 

This summer there was a ship built at Dorchester. 

The 19th of September of this year, Winthrop 
says " A man travelling late from Dorchester to 
Watertown lost his way, and being benighted and 
in a swamp, about 10 of the clock, hearing some 
wolves howl, and fearing to be devoured by them, 
he cried out, help, help. One that dwelt within 
hearing, over against Cambridge, hallooed to him. 
The other still cried out, which caused the man to 
fear that the indians had gotten some Englishman 
and were torturing him, but not daring to go to 
him, he discharged a piece two or three times. This 
gave the alarm to Watertown, and so it went as far 
as Salem and Dorchester ; but about one or two of 
the clock no enemy appearing, etc., all retired but 
the watch." 

The winter of 1641-2 was very cold, and the 
harbor was frozen " to sea so far as one could well 

There was so little immigration this year, that 
there was not much demand for land or cattle. As 
early as 1635, it is supposed that there were about 
120 cows owned in the town, and raising cattle for 


the new comers must have been a very lucrative 
business in the plantation. 

As there had been some trouble and controversy 
about wages, the following order was passed, viz. : 
" It is ordered that from the 15th day of the first 
month (March) to the 25th day of the eighth month, 
it shall not be lawful for common labourers, as hoers, 
reapers, tailors, &c. who were used to take after two 
shillings the day, to take above 28 d a day ; and from 
the 25th day of the 8th month to the first day of 
the 10th month, 15 d a day; and from the said first 
day of the 10th month unto the first day of the 12th 
month, 1 2 d the day ; and from the said first day of 
the 12th month unto the 15th day of the first 
month, 15 d a day." 

16-13. This year Miantonimo, one of the most 
high minded and honorable of Indian chiefs, fell 
into the hands of Uncas, the chief of the Mohegans, 
and through the influence of the Government of the 
Massachusetts Colony was coldly butchered. Judg 
ing of the act at this distance of time, it may well 
be considered one of a most flagrant character, al 
though committed by our forefathers. 

The imprisonment of Samuel Gorton, of Rhode 
Island, was an important event of the year, and was 
the cause of no little excitement through the Colo 
ny. It is now difficult to ascertain what great sins 
he was guilty of, unless they were those of inde 
pendence and liberality ; but being the weaker party, 
he was obliged to capitulate and suffer. The offi 
cers of the company who went to arrest him were 


Capt. George Cook, Humphrey Atherton and Ed. 
Johnson. On their way to Boston, they passed 
through Dorchester, where were assembled a large 
number of persons to witness the prisoners. Gorton 
was confined in Charlestown, and his seven confede 
rates in seven different towns, with irons on their 
legs. Francis Weston (one of the number), was 
confined in Dorchester. 

In animadverting upon the acts of our ancestors, 
it is not to censure them as sinners above all others ; 
on the contrary, they were far beyond their genera 
tion in all that exalts the human character. They 
were educated under the influence of many of the 
absurd superstitions of their age, and should not be 
condemned by the standard of our own. Those 
who so flippantly censure them as bigots, fanatics 
and persecutors, exhibit but little knowledge of the 
customs and prejudices of the generation by which 
they should be judged. This was probably the only 
land ever colonized, where conquest, plunder, gold 
or roguery, was not the moving cause. Although 
they whipped and banished, it was in a great mea 
sure to escape the contamination of the vicious and 
idle who invariably hover about all new settlements, 
and whose foothold here, they were early determined 
to prevent. The great Christian doctrine of tole 
ration, it must be remembered, had not been even 
dreamed of then, and they were the most tolerant 
of their generation. They were an inestimable race 
of men and women; they helped the morning to 
dawn apace, and this western wilderness to " bios- 


som as the rose ; " they had seen oppression and 
despised it, " and scorned the disgrace of slavish 

One of our Dorchester men returning to England 
this year, was glad to retrace his journey. Win- 
throp gives the following account of him. 

" One llichard , servant to one 

Williams, of Dorchester, being come out of service, 
fell to work at his own hand and took great wages 
above others, and would not work but for ready 
money. By this means, in a year or little more, he 
had scraped together about 25 pounds, and then re 
turned with his prey into England, speaking evil of 
the country by the w r ay. He was not gone far, after 
his arrival, but the cavaliers met him and eased him 
of his money ; so he knew no better way but to 
return to New England again, to repair his loss in 
that place which he had so much disparaged." 

Hubbard relates a curious affair under date of 
1643. He says, "On the 18th of January there 
were strange sights seen about Castle Island, and 
the Governour s Island over against it, in form like a 
man, that would sometimes cast flames and sparkles 
of fire. This was seen about eight of the clock in 
the evening by many. About the same time a voice 
was heard between Boston and Dorchester upon the 
water in a dreadful manner, crying out, boy, boy, 
come away, come away ; and then it shifted sud 
denly from one place to another, a great distance, 
about twenty times. About fourteen days after, the 
same voice was heard in the like dreadful manner ; 


divers sober persons were ear witnesses hereof, at 
both times, on the other side of the town, towards 
Noddle s Island." 

There is no record of officers for the town this year. 

1644. Selectmen John Glover, Nathaniel Pat 
ten, Mr. Howard. Thomas Wiswell, Nathaniel Dun 
can, Humphrey Atherton and Mr. Jones. 

Blake says, " This year there were wardens ap 
pointed to take care of and manage y e affairs of y e 
school : they were to see that both y e master and. 
schollar performed their Duty, and to Judge of and 
End any difference that might arise between master 
and scholar, or their Parents, according to sundry 
Rules and Directions there set dow r n. The first 
wardens were Mr. Howard, Dea. Wisw r ell and Mr. 
Atherton." They were chosen for life, unless they 
removed from the town or for some other weighty 
reason. This might be called the first school com 
mittee, an office which has probably been filled in 
the town from that day to the present. 

By the following order it appears that this town 
furnished a large part of the appropriation for forti 
fying Castle Island. 

" 20 of the 3 mo. 1664. It is ordered by a major 
vote of the town, that the raters shall make a rate 
of one hundred pounds towards the fortification of 
Castle Island and providing powder and shot and 
other for the great guns ; to be delivered into the 
hands of Nathaniel Duncan and Humphrey Ather 
ton, overseers of the work, who are to be accounta 
ble to the town for the disposing of it." 


The General Court had voted to desert this island 
in 1643, "being weary of the charge of maintain 
ing " it. Boston, Roxbury, Cambridge and Water- 
town joined with Dorchester in undertaking the 
fortification, the General Court furnishing 100, 
but it is believed that this town furnished a larger 
sum than either of the other towns. It was in fact 
nearer to Dorchester than to either of them, South 
Boston then being within its limits. This Island, 
it is supposed, was first fortified in 1633, with mud 
walls. Capt. Roger Clap says these " stood divers 
years. First Capt. Simpkins was Commander there 
of, and after him, Lieut. Monish, for a little space. 
When the mud walls failed, it was built again with 
Pine Trees and Earth ; and Capt. Davenport was 
Commander. When that decayed, which was within 
a little time, there was a small Castle built with 
brick walls, and had three rooms in it ; a dwelling 
Room below, a lodging Room over it, the Gun room 
over that, wherein stood six very good Saker Guns, 
and over it upon the Top Three lesser Guns." 

On the General Court Records is the following, 
under date of 1641, viz., Cw Capt. Sedgewick is or 
dered to take care of the Castle this year ensuing, 
to begin oil the first of the 5 month. And he is to 
agree with the Gunner and his man, allowing them 
250 bushels of indian corne, & if the Gunner will 
accept of it, 50 bushels more of indian corne the 
Capt. hath granted for other necessaries." 

In July, 1665, Capt. Richard Davenport was 
struck by lightning at the Castle, and killed, and 


Aug. 10th following, Capt. Roger Clap was appoint 
ed by the General Court in his place, and continued 
there about 21 years, until he was 77 years of age. 
He then resigned, rather than carry into effect some 
of the infamous requisitions of Sir Edmond Andros. 
His biographer says of him, " In his time it might 
be seen that Religious and well disposed men might 
take upon them the calling of a souldier, without 
danger of hurting their morals or their good name," 
for he would have none but pious as well as brave 
men under his command. 

1645. Selectmen Humphrey Atherton, Roger 
Clap, John Wiswell, Thomas Jones, Hopestill Fos- 
ter, George Weeks and William Blake. 

This year 250 was raised to build a new meeting 
house ; the committee for the purpose were John 
Glover, Nathaniel Duncan, Humphrey Atherton, 
Thomas Jones, John Wiswell, Deacon Clap and 
Robert Howard. It was built near or on the spot 
of the first meeting house, at the northerly end of 
Pleasant street, and was subsequently moved on to 
Meeting-house Hill. The first meeting house was 
a rude building, thatched, with a stair-way on the 
outside, and was insufficient to answer the growing 
wants of the plantation. More than a month before 
the above sum was raised by vote, it was agreed, 
" at the general meeting of the town, for peace and 
love s sake, that there shall be a new 7 meeting house 
built on Mr. Howard s land in the most convenient 
place betwixt Mr. Stoughton s garden and his barn." 

Dec. 17. " There was given to Edward Breck, 


by the hands of most of the inhabitants of the town, 
Smelt Brook Creek, on the condition that lie doth 
set a mill there." This mill was sold to William 
Robinson, who was killed by being drawn under its 
cog-wheel. It was then sold to Timothy Tileston, 
and has been in the last-named family to the present 

This year the town was ordered by the General 
Court to pay for the support of the Castle 20 IGs. 
in wheat, peas, rye, barley, Indian corn or fat cattle. 

Nathaniel Duncan of this town, who was undoubt 
edly one of the best accountants in the colony, was 
chosen Auditor General by the General Court, with 
a salary of 30 per year. 

This year Capt. Thomas Hawkins, former resident 
of this town, but now of Boston, built in the latter 
place the famous ship Seafort, of 400 tons, " and 
had set her out," says Winthrop, " with much 
strength of ordnance, and ornament of carving and 
painting, etc." He was cast away on the coast of 
Spain, as w r as also a London ship which sailed in 
company, and many passengers lost. Capt. Kear- 
man, of the other ship, w r as lost ; but Hawkins got 
to England, and being employed in a voyage the 
next year, was cast away at the same place. 

161G. Selectmen John Glover, Mr. Jones, Ed 
ward Breck, John Wiswell, John Holland, Edward 
Clap and Wm. Clark. 

This year 40 was raised for finishing the meet 
ing house, and " making the walls decent within 
and without." A way was also laid out to that part 


of Neponset usually known by the name of Pine 
Neck. It began at the house of John Hill, and run 
to Robert Pierce s, and was a rod and a half broad. 

The winter of 16456 was very cold, and extended 
very far south. Winthrop says that in Virginia, 
" the ships were frozen up six weeks." This year 
the enormous quantity of eight hundred butts of 
Spanish wine was brought over, and there was great 
difficulty in collecting the duties thereon, and finally 
they were forced to break open the cellar doors to 
take it by force. Most of the discreet men regretted 
the encouragement given to the importation, and 
the General Court had a short time previous made 
an order for an impost duty of ten shillings on every 
butt. Hubbard says, " had there been a greater 
impost laid thereon, it might have turned the 
stream of traffick into another channel, that might 
have been beneficial to the place." 

The office of Constable was a very important one, 
and many of those chosen paid a fine rather than 
to serve. Their badge of office was a black staff, 
from 5 to 5 1-2 feet long, with five or six inches at 
the ends tipped with brass. 

It was about this time that the traffic in slaves be 
gan. Our progenitors have been accused of indif 
ference, if nothing worse, in regard to this nefarious 
traffic ; but the following extract from the Colony 
Records shows that they set their faces like a flint 
against it. 

1646, 4th November. "The Gen r all Co r te con 
ceiving themselues bound by y e first opertunity to 


bear Witness against y e haynos & crying sinn of man 
stealing, as also to p scribe such timely redresse for 
what is past, and such a law for y e future as may 
sufficiently deter all others belonging to us to have 
to do in such vile and most odious courses, iustly ab- 
hored of all good and iust men, do order y* y e negro 
interpreter w th others unlawfully taken, be y e first 
opertunity (at y e charge of y e country for p sent), 
sent to his native country of Ginny, & a letter w th 
him of y e indignation of y e Corte thereabout, and 
iustice hereof, desireing o r hono r ed Gov r n r would 
please put this order in execution." 

1647. Selectmen John Wiswell, Thomas Jones, 
Win. Blake, Wm. Clark, Joseph Farnsworth, Wm. 
Sumner and Geo. Weeks. 

There had been great trouble heretofore in rela 
tion to fences, especially in the great lots, so called. 
It appears that these lots began a little south of 
the Meeting-house Hill, and extended to Neponset 
river. This year the town chose Isaac Heath, John 
Johnson and Wm. Parks, all of Roxbury, to view 
the fences and apportion to each man his share, " to 
the end that damage may be prevented, and peace 
procured and established among them all." 

1648. Selectmen Humphrey Atherton, John 
Wiswell, John Glover, Roger Clap and Thomas 

Another attempt was made at this time to secure 
a ferry over Neponset river, between Dorchester and 
Brain tree, so that travellers need not be obliged to 
head the stream. It is supposed that former projects 


had failed to be a profitable business, and no person 
was now willing to undertake it unless a boat-house 
and land were provided. The General Court gave 
John Glover the power to grant it to any person for 
seven years, or to keep it himself forever. 

1649. This year Rev. John Wilson, Jr., son of 
Rev. John Wilson, of Boston, was settled as " coad 
jutor to Rev. Richard Mather." After preaching 
here about two years, he removed to Medfield, where 
he preached about forty years, and died Aug. 23, 
169 1. " The Lord s day preceding his translation, he 
preached both forenoon and afternoon, fervently and 
powerfully. The Lord s day that he expired, the 
greater part of his Church were present to behold 
and lament his remove from them." 

By a letter of the Rev. John Eliot, dated 13th 
of 9 mo., 1649, in Massachusetts Historical Society s 
Collections, it appears that a gentleman in London 
gave 10 for the schooling of the Indians. He 
says, "five pounds I gave to a grave woman in 
Cambridge, who taught the Indian children last 
yeare ; and God so blessed her labours, that they 
came on very prettily. The other five pounds I 
gave to the school master of Dorchester, and thither 
the children of those Indians that lived there about 
went, with a like good successe, if not better, because 
the children were bigger and more capable." 


Orders of the General Court and of the Town (Continued.) 

1650. Selectmen John Glover, Roger Clap, 
Hopestill Foster, William Clark and John Smith. 

The General Court allowed Capt. Humphrey 
Atherton 10 for his services to the Narraganset 
country, and a reasonable compensation to his sar- 
geant ; his twenty men two shillings a day for fif 
teen days, and Is. 6d. per day for the two men who, 
attended the horses. 

1651. Selectmen Humphrey Atherton, Wil 
liam Blake, sen., James Bates, Mr. Jones and Robert 
Howard. " This year the bridge was built over Ne- 
ponset river, by Henry Whites." 

Previously there had been a ferry, which was kept 
by Bray Wilkins. 

1652. Selectmen Humphrey Atherton, Wil 
liam Sumner, sen., Robert Howard, Thomas Jones 
and Hopestill Foster. 

The minister, Mr. Mather, had 100 granted to 
him this year, to be raised by a town rate. This 
sum was a very liberal compensation for those days, 
and was continued for a long time. There was also 
a collection, this year, for the maintenance of the 
President and Fellows of Harvard College. 


1 65 3. Selectmen Humphrey Atherton, Richard 
Baker, Richard Leeds, Nathaniel Patten and Roger 

This year the town chose Dea. John Wiswall and 
Ensign Hopestill Foster " to meet with the commit 
tee chosen by the General Court, to view a planta 
tion at Natick to know what is meet to be clone, 
and what their desire is." 

Early in this year the church sold their house, 
and about three acres of land, to Robert Howard ; 
Stephen Hoppin was living in the house at the time. 
This house was left to the church by Mrs. Tilly. 

1654. Selectmen Lt. Roger Clap, Nathaniel 
Patten, Dea. John Wiswall, Ensign Hopestill Fos 
ter and Thomas Jones. 

The first report of disbursements made by the 
town, is under date of this year ; and as it is a mat 
ter of curiosity when compared with the Auditors 
reports of these times, it is here inserted. The 
amount assessed was 40 14s. lid. for the town and 

IMPRIMIS. To the Captain of the Castle, . 20 16s. Od. 

Item. For carrying of corn to the tide mill, for 

Captain of the Castle, .... 1 

Item. For driving up and setting down, and for keep 
ing of the corn that was with Goodman 
Mead, 90 

Item. For the Secretary, for writing Court orders, 184 

Item. For two quire of paper, .... 1 

Item. For a messenger to go to Mr. Collicot s, about 

Thompson s Island, .... 1 4 

Item. For a board and nails and work to stop the 

place in the gallery of the meeting-house, 2 11 


Item. For making- the fence by Goodman Toplif s, 7 6 

Item. Paid Abraham Howard and Thomas Trott, be 
ing- constables, to make up their rate, 
being- short, . . . . . 160 

Item. To Thomas Tolman, towards a pair of wheels 

for the Gun, ..... 100 

Item. Paid to a man of Dedham for killing 1 two 

wolves, 19 

Item. To Goodman Tolman, for killing a wolf, .10 

Item. Paid John Smith, his one rate, 14s. ; to Rich 
ard Hall, 6s. 2d.; and 11s. Sd. by John 
Minot, which he should have laid out on 
the meeting-house, &c. . . . ] 11 10 

Item. To Goody George, .... 3 10 

Item. It is voted that the 19s. 3d. that was due from 
Nicholas White for his rate unpaid, should 
be abated, 19 3 

Item. For Thompson s Island, the rate to the County 
being 16s. Sd., and the Town rate being 
8s. 4d. It is not thoroughly agreed on, 
only for the present we crave allowance, 
but shall do our best to get it, if you can 
set us in some way to do it, . . 150 

Item. For Jeremiah Ryland, his rate, no hope to 

get it, 10 

Sum total laid out to this 4th day of 10th month, 

1651, is 34 19 2 

1655. Selectmen John Wiswall, Hopestill Fos 
ter, Edward Breck, Nathaniel Glover and Nathan 
iel Patten. 

This year the road from Brain tree (now Quincy) 
to Roxbury was laid out. The committee were 
Nicholas Clap and William Clarke of Dorchester, 
and Moses Paine and Gregory Belcher of Braintree. 
The road was to be four rods wide, and run as fol- 


lows : Beginning " near Phinney Graves house, the 
way to lie on the south-east side of, in the old bea 
ten way, and so to a low white oak marked on the 
same side of the way, and so by the marked trees 
to the brook ; and so from the brook, the way being 
bad in the winter, we agreed to take about a rod 
into Anthony Gulliver s lot, where the fence inter 
rupts the way ; and so to a marked post towards 
John Gill s house, and from thence to another mark 
ed post against John Gill s house ; from thence to a 
stake in Elder Kingsley s yard, and from thence to 
the mill in the old beaten road way, and from the 
mill to two great rocks on the lower side of the way, 
at Robert Spurr and Henry Merrifield s houses, and 
from thence to the new field by the marked trees in 
the old % road way, and so through the new field 
where the way formerly was, and from thence by the 
marked trees on the left hand to Roxbury bounds." 

This must have been the road which runs over 
Milton Hill from Quincy to the Lower Mills, and 
from thence over the upper road in Dorchester, now 
Washington Street, to Roxbury. 

This year the General Court having enjoined 
the selectmen of every town to have a " vigilant eye 
to see that all children, and such as were within 
their charge, be catechized in some orthodox cate 
chism," the following order was passed viz. : 

" We, the Selectmen of the town of Dorchester, 
for the time being, in our obedience to authority, and 
in pursuit of so useful and profitable work, do hereby 
will and require all parents, masters, and all that have 
the charge and oversight of any youth within this 


plantation, to catechize their children, servants and 
others within their several charge, in some sound 
and orthodox catechism, that they may be able to 
render account thereof when they shall be thereunto 
required, either in the Church, or privately, as upon 
advice shall be judged most conducive to the general 
good. And fail not herein upon such penalty as 
the Court shall see reason to inflict, on information 
given against such as shall be found delinquent 

By order of General Court, the bounds between 
Dorchester and Dedham were fixed. The persons 
who w r ere appointed for that purpose were William 
Sumner, William Clarke, Nathaniel Glover, and 
Mahaleel Munnings, for Dorchester ; and Joshua 
Fisher, Daniel Fisher, and William Avery, for 

1656. Selectmen Nathaniel Patten, Edward 
Breck, Hopestill Foster, Mr. Jones and Nathaniel 
Glover. William Blake, sen., was chosen Recorder, 
and was to have 20s. and be rate free. He was the 
first Recorder chosen. 

A strict order was issued by the Selectmen, this 
year, in relation to cattle being allowed or suffered to 
destroy the corn, grass, &c., of persons not their 
owners. It begins as follows : " Forasmuch as 
righteousness among men is not only the command 
ment of God, but the way to continue love and 
peace, &c." It then goes on to state the penalty for 

Many of the early documents of the town are 
drawn up with great care and ability. 


1657. Selectmen Roger Clap, Hopes till Foster, 
Mr. Jones, Nathaniel Patten and Edward Clap. 

This year, at the request of Rev. John Eliot, of 
Roxbnry, usually denominated the Apostle of the 
Indians, the town granted a piece of land at Pun- 
kapoag, containing about 6000 acres, for the use of 
the Indians at and about Punkapoag Pond ; also 
500 acres to Roger Clap, supposed to be in West- 
field or that vicinity; and 1000 for the school of 
Dorchester. Previous to this, a part of the town 
records had been accidentally burnt in Thomas Mil 
let s house. 

The following document is on record, viz. " A 
memorandum that the Grand Jury were with us to 
speak with us about some things which they 
thought were liable to be presented, as namely this, 
that the catechising of children is neglected in our 

"At a meeting of the Selectmen, 12: 4: 1657, 
Thos. Bird brought a note from Henry Woodward, 
Constable, and demanded twenty shillings for a wolf 
that his son Samuel Greenway killed within our 
bounds the 5 : 1: 57, which we do order that they 
shall be paid the next town rate." It was a common 
thing to pay for several wolves killed in one year. 
Anthony Eisher, Jr., received pay for three in 1665. 

This year the town voted to add ten pounds in 
the next rate, to be paid in wheat, for the procuring 
and purchasing of " great guns " for the use of the 

It appears that it had been the custom to lumber 
up the roads by manure, wood, timber, stones, build- 


ing of hovels, styes for swine, saw-pits, clay-pits, 
c., until the Selectmen took the matter in hand 
and ordered them cleared in six weeks time, on 
penalty of 20s. 6d. to the offending parties. 

Elcazcr Mather, son of Rev. Richard, being about 
entering the ministry, labored in this town in con 
nection with his father, and was allowed ten pounds 
for the same. 

The following letter, in relation to the laying out 
of Punkapoag, will show the influence the writer 
had over the people of Dorchester. 

" To bis much honored and respected friend, Major Atherton, 

at his house in Dorchester, these p sent. 
" Much honored and beloved in the Lord : 

" Though our poore Indians are much molested in most places 
in their meetings in way of civilities, yet the Lord hath put it 
into your hearts to suffer us to meet quietly at Ponkipog, for w h 
I thank God, and am thankful to yourselfeand all the good peo 
ple of Dorchester. And now that our meetings may be the 
more comfortable and p varable, my request is, y l you would 
please to further these two motions : first, y l you would please 
to make an order in your towne, and record it in your towne 
record, that you approve and allow y e Indians of Ponkipog 
there to sit downe and make a towne, and to inioy such 
accommodations as may be competent to maintain God s ordi 
nances among them another day. My second request is, y l you 
would appoint fitting men, who may in a fitt season bound and 
lay out the same, and record y 4 alsoe. And thus commending 
you to the Lord, I rest, 

Yours to serve in the service of Jesus Christ, 


1658. Selectmen Humphrey Atherton, Roger 
Clap, Hopestill Foster, Mr. Jones and Mr. Patten. 


This year it was voted by the General Court, that 
no persons should receive into their houses any stran 
ger without the leave of the Selectmen, upon such 
penalty as the Selectmen " shall see good to lay 
upon them." 

1659. Selectmen Humphrey Athcrton, Roger 
Clap, Hopestill Foster, Nathaniel Patten and Mr. 

This year 400 acres of land were given by the 
proprietors for the use of the ministry. 

The Selectmen issued their order in relation to 
the entertaining of strangers. It begins as follows : 

" Whereas the General Court hath taken care 
what strangers shall reside in this jurisdiction, and 
how licensed, as by the law title strangers doth 
appear," &c. It then goes on to state that if any 
person in this town shall entertain any sojourner or 
inmate in his house above one week, without license 
from the Selectmen, he shall be fined. The first 
person who suffered under this order was " Angola 
the negro," who was ordered to " depart this town." 

This law appears to have been enforced with 
considerable strictness. 

" Thomas Meekins and James Minot did promise 
to set up a Fulling Mill upon Neponset river, by 
the first of December next." 

The fifteenth of June, this year, was a day of hu 
miliation in all the churches of this jurisdiction 
" in behalf of our native country, the fears of com 
motion and trouble in the country and Parliament ; 
rents and divisions in many of the churches, espe 
cially in Hartford ; the hand of God against us in the 


unseasonable wet and rain of last spring ; and the 
sad face of things in regard of the rising genera 
tion." Mr. Peletiah Glover preached in the morn 
ing, from 2 Chron. vii. 14, 15, 16; Mr. Mather in 
the afternoon, from Hosea vi. 1." 

The people of Hartford sent for Mr. Mather, with 
the elders of the church, to come to them and give 
counsel in relation to the differences in their church ; 
but they excused themselves " in regard to the diffi 
culty of the journey unto the aged body " of Mr. 
Mather. The Hartford matter was subsequently 
settled in this vicinity that place being so far from 
most of the churches whose counsel was desired in 
its settlement. 

The 8th of December was kept as a day of thanks 

. 1660. Selectmen Humphrey Atherton, Roger 
Clap, Hopestill Foster, Nathaniel Patten and Mr. 

The 22d of February was observed as a day of 
humiliation through the colony, in behalf of Eng 
land, " they being at this time in such an unsettled 
way of government, being without Protector and 
without Parliament, only the power remaining in 
the army, and they also being divided." 

The sabbath before this day of fasting, Jeremy 
Hawes, servant of Mr. Patten, and Thomas Lake, 
servant and kinsman of Thomas Lake, for bad be 
havior in the meeting in the forenoon, were called 
before the assembly in the afternoon and publicly 

The 25th of March, Mr. Mather made a report 


unto the congregation, " of a sad accident that was 
fallen out at Hartford, viz. of a young man named 
Abraham Warner, about the age of twenty years, 
who being left of God, and prevailed with by Satan, 
drowned himself in the water, leaving behind him, 
in his brother s pocket, a writing to his father, 
wherein he does advise his father to look to the ways 
and walkings of his brother. Mr. Mather, upon 
this occasion, gave an exhortation, 1st, unto the 
children, to take heed of refusing instruction from 
their parents, and not to please themselves with this, 
that they were the children of godly parents, as it 
seems this young man was. And 2d, also unto pa 
rents to look to the ways and walkings of their 
children and families, alledging the example of 
Eli," &c. 

There was another day of fasting and humiliatiou^ 
on the 10th of June. Mr. Peletiah Glover preach 
ed in the morning, from Zechariah i. 3 ; Mr. Ma 
ther in the afternoon, from Ezekiel xxi. 27. 

About this time the elders put the church in mind 
" of their slackness in coming to the contribution, 
and discharging their rates to the deacons." 

The 9th of December was another day of humili 
ation in the church of Dorchester, at the motion of 
Mr. Mather, on account of the troubles in England. 
Mr. Mather preached in the morning, from Tim. i. 
1 and 2 ; Mr. Eliot, of Eoxbury, in the afternoon, 
from Job iii. 25. 

These occasions of humiliation and fasting 
sometimes general and sometimes local are men 
tioned to show the feeling and tendency of the 


times. An allusion to them all would occupy much 
space, and will therefore be omitted hereafter, ex 
cepting in cases where something out of the com 
mon course led to the appointment of the day. In 
some years there were four or five fast days, besides 

Roger Sumner was dismissed from the church, 
being about to remove to Lancaster with others and 
form a church there. When Lancaster was destroy 
ed by the Indians, he returned to Milton, and was 
an important man there. 

1661. Selectmen Roger Clap, Hopestill Foster, 
Nathaniel Patten, Mr. Jones and William Sumner. 

The death of Maj. Gen. Humphrey Atherton, this 
year, was a serious loss to the town. His energy of 
character, and firmness in all cases where great de 
cision was required, made him a strong pillar in the 
youthful settlement. There is no dqjibt his death 
occurred on the 17th of September, instead of the 
16th, as inscribed on his monument probably soon 
after 12 o clock at night on the 16th. Blake says, 
" He was killed by a fall from his horse at y e So. end 
of Boston, as he was coming homewards (I think in 
y e evening), his Horse either Running over or start 
ing at a Cow that lay down in y e way." His great 
courage and presence of mind were strikingly exhi 
bited when he was sent, with twenty men, to Pessa- 
cus, an Indian sachem, to demand the arrears to the 
colony, of three hundred fathom of wampum. Pessa- 
cus put him off for some time with dilatory answers, 
not suffering him to come into his presence. He 
finally led his men to the door of the wigwam, en- 


tered himself with pistol in hand, leaving his men 
without, and seizing Pessacus by the hair of his 
head, drew him from the midst of a great number of 
his attendants, threatening, if any of them interfer 
ed, that he would despatch him. 

It will be seen, by the following entry, that the 
meeting-house was but a rude and humble building. 
On the 8th of September, of this year, after order 
ing that Lieut. Clap and Ensign Foster should see 
the meeting-house repaired, the records say " Also 
William Blake is appointed to warn Thomas An 
drews to daub the meeting-house, or else to take 
the fine that is due for not * * * of him." 

The 18th of June, of this year, Mr. Eleazer Ma 
ther, son of the pastor of this church, was ordained 
minister of Northampton ; and Dea. Edward Clap, 
Mr. Peletiah Glover and Thomas Tileston were cho 
sen as messengers from the church to attend the or 
dination a journey of nearly as much importance 
as would now be one to New Orleans, and much 
more dangerous. Several persons removed from 
this town to Northampton, and formed the church 
there ; among them, William Clarke and Sarah his 
wife, Henry Woodward and Elizabeth his wife, and 
Henry Cunliffe and his wife Susanna. 

1662. Selectmen Roger Clap, Hopestill Foster, 
William Sumner, Mr. Jones and John Minot. 

The Mr. Jones so often named as one of the 
selectmen, was undoubtedly Thomas, a wise and pru 
dent man. 

This year Milton was set off from Dorchester and 
incorporated as a township Dorchester still hold- 


ing the territory south thereof. The Indian name 
of Milton was Unquety, and it was frequently call 
ed by that name long after it was set oft as a town. 

Goodman Mead had charge of the meeting-house 
in Dorchester, attended to the bell-ringing, clean 
ing, &c. ; and there not being sufficient cash in the 
treasury to pay him the three pounds due for that 
service the present year, Mr. Patten agreed to pay 
him twenty-six shillings and eight pence, and Ens. 
Poster the rest both to be allowed the same out of 
the next town rate. 

May 5, of this year " It was voted whether An 
thony Fisher should have four pounds allowed out 
of the town rate for killing six wolves ; the vote was 

The town had hitherto kept their powder at the 
house of Gen. Atherton, and he being dead, the 
Captain, Lieutenant and Ensign were appointed to 
take charge of the " ammunition that is in the house 
of Mrs. Atherton, and to remove it to some conve 
nient place for the use of the town." 

Nicholas Clap was appointed to see the windows 
of the meeting-house mended, and to provide lids or 
window leaves for the windows, and to pay the 

The death of Sir Henry Vane, who was beheaded 
in England, June 14th of this year, was undoubt 
edly strongly felt by his old friends and acquaint 
ances in this town and vicinity. He was a great 
man in the colony, and belonged to the progressive 
party. He was impeached for " compassing and 
imagining the death of the king," Charles I. Not 


a shadow of proof was brought to sustain the 
charge, yet he suffered the punishment of death. 

1663. Selectmen Roger Clap, Hopestill Foster, 
Mr. Jones, William Sumner and John Minot. 

The town, for the first time, chose commissioners 
to try and issue small causes. Capt. Roger Clap, 
Lt. Hopestill Foster and William Sumner were cho 
sen for this year. " Capt. Clap was authorised to 
join persons in marriage, and from this time forward 
many persons were married by him." 

Daniel Ellis came to the selectmen, and " intreat- 
ed to be an inhabitant of Dorchester ; " but they 
would not accept of him as such, unless he brought 
sufficient security, " or to be in covenant for one 
year with some honest man." 

Robert Stiles was obliged to pay the penalty for 
entertaining strangers contrary to law. 

For many years it had been customary to vote 
100 to pay Mr. Mather for his services as pastor 
and teacher ; but as he grew aged, he received as 
sistance in the performance of his duties from Mr. 
Stoughton. Last year 95 was voted to Mr. Ma 
ther, and 25 to Mr. Stoughton. This year, to the 
former, 80 ; to the latter, 50. 

Great interest and distress were felt here and in 
all the towns in the Bay, on account of the affairs 
in England ; and fasts were held in Dorchester, 
Charlestown, Cambridge, Roxbury, Boston, Water- 
town, Dedham and Braintree, " seeking to God, by 
fasting and prayer, in behalf of the people of God." 

A part of 1000 acres granted by the General 
Court, in 1659, in lieu of Thompson s Island, was 
laid out this year ; also 400 acres for the ministry. 


1664. Selectmen Roger Clap, Hopestill Foster, 
William Simmer, Mr. Jones and Anthony Fisher, jr. 
This year William Stoughton sent a list of his 
landed property to the proprietors. He owned a 
large quantity in his own right, and had purchased 
of many persons who had left the town ; viz., Mr. 
Gilbert, Mr. Makepeace, Mrs. Knight, widow Smead, 
Mr. Jones, Mr. Flood, John Pope, Mr. Whitcomb, 
Mr. Miller, Mr. Butler, Mr. Dimmock, Mr. Hutch- 
inson, Edward Munnings, Mr. Holman and Richard 
Collicot making about 325 acres. This, with what 
he inherited through his father, made the amount 
very large. His father, at the time of his death, 
was the owner of upwards of 5000 acres. 

At a town meeting, April 1, 1664, "it was pro 
posed to the town whether they were willing to have 
an Ordinary set up somewhere about -or near the 
meeting-house." " The vote was negative." 

A similar application was made soon after to the 
selectmen, with the same result ; viz., Sept. 7, 1664: 
" Whereas there was a motion made by Nicholas 
Batten unto the Selectmen, for his wife s drawing 
and selling Cyder ; W^e, the Selectmen, do not ap 
prove of it." 

At the same meeting Ensign Capen and William 
Sumner were appointed to get the burying place 
well and sufficiently fenced, and also to demand of 
John Blake the 20 shillings (not 20 pounds, as men 
tioned in the 107th page of this work) left by his 
father for that purpose in his last will and testa 
ment. The burying place here mentioned is the pre 
sent one in the north part of the town. It was 


originally laid out five rods square. The south 
west corner is the oldest part, and has been enlarg 
ed several times. It is supposed that this ground, 
although not the most ancient, contains the oldest 
inscriptions in the United States, excepting, per 
haps, a few in Jamestown, Va. ; one being dated 
1638, and others in 1644 and 1648. 

April 3d, of this year, " Mr. Mather, after the 
evening exercises, did declare that Mr. Stoughton 
did intend the next Lord s day to preach again, at 
the motion of the messengers of the church, al 
though he had not preached publicly full 14 sab 
baths before." 

Mr. Mather preached the election sermon this 
year, from Haggai ii. 4 " Yet now be strong, all 
ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work, for 
I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts." A very 
significant text for the occasion, and the discourse 
was probably a preliminary step in that onward 
march of events which finally caused the separation 
of the colony from the mother country. 

The following important petition from the town, 
signed by nearly all the men in it, speaks for itself; 
but a few remarks may help to understand its signi 
ficance. The colony had no doubt greatly sympa 
thised with Cromwell and his party, and were not a 
little disappointed at the accession of the undignifi 
ed and lascivious Charles. It was with these feel 
ings, and under the fear, likewise, that former rights 
and privileges might be curtailed upon the restora 
tion of the Stuart family, that this document was 
sent to the General Court. It is undoubtedly in 


the hand writing of Richard Mather, and is drawn 
up with great care. It is here copied from the Ge 
nealogical Register, Vol. V., page 393 the names, 
for convenience, being arranged alphabetically. 

To the Honrd. Gournr. the Deputy Gournr. together with the 
rest of the lionord. magistrates & house of Deputyes. As 
sembled in Generall court at Boston this nineteenth day of 
October, 1664. The Petition off the Inhabitants of Dor 
chester : Humbly shewed] : 

First of all That wee doe acknowledge it with all Thankfull- 
ness to God & to yoiirselucs, as a great mercy, that the Lord 
was pleased to put it into yor harts, in your late session to ex- 
presse & declare. That it is yor resolution (god assisting) to beare 
faith & true Alegiance vnto his raajesteye, And to adhere vnto 
our Patent the dutyes and priuilidges thereof, soe dearly ob 
tained &t soe long enjoyed by vndoubted right in the sight of god 
& men : Likewise we doe acknowledg it a fauor from god in 
directing The Honrd Counsill in a late meeting of theers at Bos 
ton to giue forth such a declaration wherin they doe recite the 
sence of sundry perticulers, what or power and priuilidges are 
granted to vs in the said patent, as this is one, that full power 
& authority is granted to this collonye for making and executing 
all lawes for the gourment of this people not repugnant to the 
lawes of England, Another is that it shall be lawfull for this 
gournmnt by all fitting meanes & if need bee by force of armes 
to deffend orselues against all such as shall attempt the detriment 
or anoyance of this plantation or the inhabitants thereof; some 
lawes they recite that are established &t printed in relation to 
the former, i. e. to vphold & rnaintaine the said gouerment. 

All which considered it is our humble request vnto this Honrd 
Court, That as you haue expressed & declared your resolution, 
to adhere to ye patent &s ye privilidges thereof, for there may be 
a constancy therein &t noe declining from the same, fFor you 
know how vncomfortable & dishonrable it would be first to ex- 
presse such a resolution as affore mentioned, & afterward to act 


contrary, wch wee hope is farre from your intention, And we 
pray god that such a thing may neuer bee. It is well known 
how his Royall majesty by letters to this collony doth confirme 
the said patent & charter, &t promiseth that wee shall Injoy all 
the libertyes & priuilidges granted in & by the same, wch may 
be a further & great incouragmt to yorselues to adhere to your 
proffessed resolution, & to take courage by your authority &t 
wisdome, that all the people within this jurisdiction may also doe 
the same. 

Next of all, full power being granted by the patent for mak 
ing and executing all lawes not repugnant to the lawes of Eng 
land, some one of the lawes here established being this : That 
noe injustice shall bee put vpon any church officer or member, 
In point of doctrine worship or Discipline, whether for substance 
or sircumstance besides the Institutions of the Lord Therfor it 
is our Humble request that the liberty of or churches &t faithful! 
ministry in this collony may bee still continued, without the im 
position of any such Injunction not ordained of god, wch con 
sciences truly tender would be troubled withall, but that as hith 
erto our churches & ministers haue bine freed from such human 
Inuentions & impositions, soe they may bee still, it being well 
knowne to the world that to be freed therefrom was one spetiall 
cause that moued many to remoue from their deare natiue coun 
try Into this wilderness, & how lamentable & grieuous it would 
bee to be here burdened & encombered againe with such mat 
ters is easy for any to Judge. 

Thirdly, The patent expresly granting that the yeilding & 
pajng of the fifth part of the oare of gold & siluer shal be for 
& in respect of all dutyes &i demands & seruices wtsoeuer ) 
Therfore we humbly Intreat that the Inhabitants of this collony 
may not bee vrged & compelled to make any other paymts but 
what is by patent exspressed, vnto any person or persons wtso- 
euer but such as doe here reside & dwell, & are by the country 
chosen to labor amongst vs in this church and ciuil gouermt. for 
the low estate & condition whervnto the chardg of this wilder 
ness worke & the afflicting prouidences of god haue brought 



many vnto is known to bee such, that small portions &: sallaiyes 
euen much below there deserts are afforded to many that labor 
amongst vs both in church & common wealth, And therefore to 
impose further taxes & paiments on the country wch the patent 
requireth not but freeth vs from, seerneth to bee difficult vnrea- 
sonable if not impossible to bee borne, & therfor we humbly de 
sire it may be preuented 

Much honerd we haue none other on earth to flee vnto but 
yourselues into whose hands vnder god wee haue comitted the 
care & presentation of all our pretious things, hoping that this 
great trust by god & his people by you shalbe duly obserued : 
we also engage orselfe to assist as we haue hitherto with or per 
sons & estates so farre as the Lord shall enable vs. vnto whom 
we also pray for his spetiall guidance & grace to be with you in 

this soe great a work. 

Andrews, Thomas, sen. 
Andrew, Thomas, junr. 
Baall, ffranccs 
Ball, Mathew 
Baker, John 
Baker, Richard 
Bird, Thomas 
Burd, iosph 
Blackman, John 
Blake, James 
Blake, Will 
Boulton, Nicolas VR 
Bradley, William 
Browne, Edmond 
Capen, Barnard 
Capen, John, sen. 
Capen, John, Jr. 
Capen, Samuell 
Clapp, Nicholas 
Clap, Ebenezer 
Clap, Edward 
Clap, Ezra 
Clap, Increase 
Clap, Nathaniell 
Clap, Nehemiah 
Clap, Samuel 

Clap, William, senr. 
Cumin, David 
Curtis, Richard 
Dier, George 
Davenport, Thomas, sen. 
Davenport, Thomas, jun. 
Elder, Daniel 
Eaens, Mathias 
Euens, Richard 
Fisher, Anthony, sen. 
Foster, Hopestill, jr. 
Foster, Timothy 
Frances, Richard 
Gorge, Nickolas 
Gurnell, John 
Hall, Richard 
Hewens, Jacob 
Hawes, Eleazer 
Hawes, Jeremiah 
Hill, Jonathan 
Hill, Samuel 
Hinshaw, Joshua 
Homes, Nathanell 
How, Abraham 
Humfrey, Samuell 
Hoss, Obadiah 



Humfrey, James 
Joanes, Dauid 
Jones, Isack 
Jones, Thomas 
Lake, Thomas 
Leeds, Beniamin 
Leeds, Rich 
Lyon, Peter 
Mather, Richard 
Mawdesley, Thomas 
Maxfeild, Samuell 
Maxfilld, Clement 
Meed, Isreall 
Mede, Gabriel 
Minot, George 
Naramoore, Thomas 
Paull, Samuel 
Pole, William 
Pond, William 
Pope, Thomas 
Preston, Daniell 
Procer, Samvull 
Robinson, James 
Robinson, William 
Rush, Jasper 

Sauage, Edward 
Searll, Robert 
Smith, John X mark 
Swift, Obadiah 
Swift, Thomas 
Spur, Robert 
. Stoughton, Will 
S limner, William 
Tappley, Clement O. 
Tilston, Thomas 
Tolman, Thomas 
Topliff, Samuell 
Trescot, Samuell 
Triscote, William 
Trot, Thomas 
Turenr, William 
Way, Henry 
Way, Samuel 
Weekes, Amiel 
Weekes, Joseph 
Weekes, William 
White, James 
Withington, Henry 
Withington, Richard 
Wiswell, Enoke 

1665. Selectmen Hopestill Foster, Anthony 
Fisher, sen., Thomas Jones, William Sumner and 
John Minot. 

In July, Capt. Richard Davenport, commander of 
the Castle, was killed by lightning, and on the 10th 
of August Capt. Roger Clap was appointed by the 
General Court to supply his place. The fact may 
be found stated in Capt. Clap s Memoirs ; but he, 
with his characteristic modesty, does not name the 
person appointed. This office necessarily interfered 
with the town business in which heretofore he had 
been much engaged, and he was obliged to give up 
some of the latter. 

Clement Maxfield appeared before the selectmen 


and desired that his brother John, who had recently 
arrived from England, might live in the town, and 
continue with him, and he would secure the town 
from any damage during his residence here. The 
selectmen granted his request ; also the like desire 
of Joseph Birch, that his brother Lewis might live 
with him until further order. But " a motion being 
made by the widow Hill in behalf of her son in law, 
lately come from Bqggerstow, that he might inhabit 
amongst us," they could sec no cause to grant it ; 
neither widow Hill nor any other person was allow 
ed to entertain him, and the constable was notified 
to warn him to depart the town. 

This year, Joseph, Sachem, in behalf of himself 
and others, made a demand for land ; and Capt. Clap 
(" if he be come home "), Dea. Wiswall, William 
Simmer and John Capen, were empowered to treat 
with them, and see what their demands were, " and 
make full and compleat agreement if they see their 
demands be but reason." In all their dealings with 
the Indians the town acted honorably and generous 
ly, and paid them a fair compensation. The land 
was nearly as valuable to the Indians after they dis 
posed of it, as before ; for they made the same use 
of it, and hunted, fished and roamed in their old 
favorite haunts, with the same freedom as if they 
held the deeds. 

An occasion of considerable excitement occurred 
this year in relation to a new gallery which had been 
erected in the meeting-house, without leave from the 
proper authorities. As is often the case in modern 
times, the offending party had consulted the select- 


men, elders, c., individually, who seemed inclined 
to grant their request ; but as soon as the append 
age was finished, the " war broke out ; " the select 
men repudiating the whole affair, and reported that 
it was set up without leave, prejudicial to the light, 
offensive to many, and disorderly that none of the 
parties who built, nor any other, should presume to 
sit in it till the town s mind was known in the mat 
ter. At a meeting of the town, August 29th, it was 
agreed that it might stand, provided it should not 
be disposed of to any persons but such as the town 
should approve of, and that the offending parties 
acknowledge their too much forwardness therein. 
The latter acknowledged their offence in the words 
of the following document, viz. 

" We whose names are underwritten, do acknowledge that it 
was our weakness that we were so inconsiderate as to make a 
small seat in the meeting-house without more clear and full ap- 
probation of the town and selectmen thereof, though we thought 
upon the conference we had with some of the selectmen apart ? 
and elders, we had satisfying ground for our proceeding therein ; 
wch we now see was not sufficient ; therefore we do desire that 
our failing therein may be passed by ; and if the town will grant 
our seat that we have been at so much cost in setting up, we 
thankfully acknowledge your love unto us therein, and we do 
hereupon further engage ourselves that we will not give up nor 
sell any of our places in that seat to any person or persons but 
whom the elders shall approve of, or such as shall have power 
to place men in seats in the assembly. 


The new impression of Mr. Mather s Catechism 
was distributed to each family in the town by the 


elders, selectmen and Dea. Capen, and paid for out 
of the town rate. 

One of the many steps towards a more liberal 
mode of admission of members to the church, was 
made at this time. It was proposed to receive male 
members by having their confession taken in pri 
vate, in writing, and declared publicly to the church, 
they standing forth and acknowledging it. One of 
the elders declared that there were several young- 
men who would join upon such conditions. The 
proposition was not agreed to at the time it was 
made, but subsequently an arrangement to that effect 
was brought about ; but at the same time it was un 
derstood that all who were considered fit to make a 
public relation, should be persuaded to do so. 

Elder Withington informed the church that he 
had resolved to lay down his appointment of seating 
persons in the meeting-house, the other elders not 
acting with him. It was undoubtedly a thankless 
office, and he being quite aged, must have had a 
hard task of it. He also informed the church, that 
from some " natural infirmity " in the ruling elders, 
they had desired Dea. Capen to read the psalms. 

In December of this year, Mr. William Stoughton \ 
was invited to engage in the ministry in connection 
with Mr. Mather ; and the elders and selectmen 
were desired to consult with him about it. This 
duty they performed, and brought every influence in 
their power to urge him to accept the invitation ; 
but his answer was, " that he had some objections 
within himself against the motion." This was truly 
a modest answer ; but it is not unlikely that his 


future greatness began to dawn upon him, and de 
cided him not to commit himself to a profession that 
was then considered so sacred, so enduring, and so 
difficult to resign, as the clerical. The church not 
feeling satisfied, made another request to the same 
purport, on the last day of the year. Still he con 
tinued firm to his purpose, but was willing to preach 
as formerly. These invitations were repeated to the 
sixth time, until the death of Mr. Mather in 1669, 
and even the elders of the other churches at their 
meeting in Boston were desired to persuade him to 
accept of the offer ; but all to no purpose. Circum 
stances like these show that he must have been one 
of the most attractive preachers of the day, and a 
trained and accomplished scholar. They show, also, 
his inflexibility of purpose, when he had once decid 
ed upon the course which he judged right for him 
to pursue. 

The king s commissioners, Col. Cartwright and 
others, arrived in Boston this year, with poAver to 
settle some difficulties which were at issue between 
different parties in the colony. They had been to 
New York for the* same purpose, and appeared here 
in rather an offensive light before the magistrates. 
They directed them to assemble the people together, 
which they declined to do, in an indirect way, inti 
mating that they were very busy, and that therefore 
they should not encourage such a meeting. Cart- 
wright was very severe upon this answer, and de 
nounced all who opposed his measures as traitors. 

The attention of the government in England had 
been called towards the treatment which the Qua- 


kers had received here, and Charles II. did a great 
and humane work, about this time, in putting a stop 
to the persecutions of these people, and in promot 
ing a greater religious freedom. 

1666. Selectmen Hopestill Foster, William 
Sumner, John Minot, Anthony Fisher and John 

As an additional evidence of the strictness with 
which the rule was enforced concerning the admis 
sion of strangers into the town, it may be mention 
ed that Samuel Hicks could not remain without suf 
ficient bond being given to save the town from all 
charges or damages on his account ; and his brother 
Zachariah Hicks, of Cambridge, gave the necessary 
document, which is on record. 

The selectmen of Boston desired of the selectmen 
of Dorchester, that widow Collins might be per 
mitted to pass the winter in Dorchester. This re 
quest was accompanied by the following document. 

"To the selectmen of Dorchester: These are 
to advise that if the widow Collins be permitted by 
you to pass the winter in your town, that your re 
ception of her shall not be to disoblige us from the 
duty which we owe unto her as one of our inhabi 
tants. Boston, this 25 (10) 1665. 

HEZ. USHER, in the name of the Selectmen." 

The above application came before the selectmen 
of Dorchester, Feb. 12, 1666, and they granted the 
widow liberty to remain here until the first day of 
May, 1666. Cases of this kind were common for 
several years. 


Nicholas George was allowed to keep an ordinary 
th(S year ensuing, " if the Court accepted of it." He 
had kept a house of that kind for several years, and 
supplied the selectmen and other town officers with 
necessary refreshment. 

This year Robert Knight, of Marblehead, ac 
knowledges the receipt of " two great guns, three 
demi-culverin shot, one ladle, one sponge," &c. of 
the selectmen of Dorchester, for the country s use. 

The liberality of the people here, in their contri 
butions for the relief others, was remarkable. This 
year there was a collection taken up for the dis 
tressed Christians in England, and 40 13s. 9d. 

JSTo rank or condition could save a person from the 
oversight, and the censure if deserved, of the church. 
The 30th of September, " Mrs. Clarke, the wife of 
Capt. Thomas Clarke, of Boston," had the offence 
laid upon her, before the church in Dorchester, of 
" her reproachful and slanderous tongue against the 
Honored Governor Richard Bellingham ; and other 
lying expressions." After several meetings, " she 
manifesting no repentance, was cast out of the 

1667. Selectmen John Minot, William Sum- 
ner, Samuel Clap, John Capen, sen., and Ens. Hall. 

This year there died three quite prominent men 
in the town ; viz., Thomas Bird, sen. ; Henry Way, 
aged 84 years ; and Thomas Jones, aged 75 years. 

The following document is on record this year. 
" Daniel Preston and Henry Gurnsey being informed 
by our selectmen, that an Indian was dead of the 


small-pox in the land of James Minot, we did by 
their order go and see, and found it so. He was 
dead in an Indian wigwam in James Minot s land, a 
little on this side Neponset Mill ; the Indians hav 
ing run away and left him dead, and taking no 
course for his burial ; and we were informed he was 
a Warwick Indian ; and we constables did get an 
Englishman, John Smith, of Dorchester, to dig his 
grave in the wigwam, and we did get an Indian 
whose name is Joseph, a Mashapog Indian, and 
William Robinson and John Smith to put him in 
his grave, and John Smith did cover him with the 
earth, and this was done on the 10th of Dec. 1666." 
Witness our hands, DAN L PRESTON, 

Recorded " this 5 (12) 1666." Feb. 5, 1667. 

Thomas Davenport s fine of 10 shillings was re 
mitted on condition that he cleared the water-course 
across the way, " before one come to the house he 
bought of William Blake," before the 10th of April 

" Anthony Fisher, sen. was desired to speak with 
Francis Oliver, and to inform him that he is to re 
turn unto the place from whence he came." 

In the account of money paid this year by the 
town, is to widow Mead for ringing the bell, 3. 

The 21st of March, this year, was kept as a fast, 
on account of the " burning the greatest part of the 
city of London, the raging of the pestilence in many 
places in England, the distress of the people of God 
all the world over, the war continued with France 
and Holland, the enemies prevailing in the * * * * 


islands, the taking of many of our English vessels, 
the sicknesses that have been amongst us, the blast 
ing of the labour of the husbandman, the sins of 
security and sensuality and unprofitableness," &c. 

April 7th, of this year, was a contribution for the 
distressed people at Cape Fear. 

Rev. John Wilson, of Boston, died August *7th, 
of this year, and Mr. Mather preached his funeral 

1668. Selectmen Hopestill Foster, John Capen, 
John Minot, Richard Hall and Samuel Clap. In giv 
ing the names of the selectmen in this work, we do 
not prefix the titles as they appear on the records, and 
which in those- days really meant something ; but 
whenever their Christian names are known with cer 
tainty, those only are given. For instance, this 
year the selectmen, besides John Minot, were Capt. 
Foster, Lt. Capen, Ens. Hall and Sarg t Clap ; pro 
bably the five highest officers in the military com 

This year measures were taken to bring the gal 
lery of the meeting-house into such form as that the 
boys may be so seated as to " prevent their profan 
ing the Lord s day." 

On the first of January, 1668, the town voted 
" that the thousand acres formerly given to the use 
of the school should never be alienated to any other 
use, nor sold, nor any part of it, but be reserved for 
the maintenance of a free school in Dorchester for 
ever." " The same day it was agreed unto that the 
next lecture day, after the lecture, the town should 
3ome together to draw lots for the twelve divisions." 



About this time there was a contribution for the 
fleet at the Caribba Islands, and the selectmen order 
ed that it should be brought to the houses of the 
two deacons by the 5th of February, and they were 
to convey it to Boston. In these contributions it 
was usual to give corn, rye, &c., as well as money, 
so that the transportation was sometimes a matter 
of importance. 

As a good deal is said in the records about the 
" Great Lots," a list of the owners at this time is 
here given, viz. : 












, 12 

, 12 

. 3 


. 6 





Abraham How, 
William Robinson, 
Samuel Robinson, . 
Richard Leeds, 
Thomas Pierce, 
Thomas Trott, 
Thomas Tilestone, . 
Nicholas Ellen, . 
Jonathan Birch, 
Timothy Mather, . 
Robert Searle, 
Samuel Paul, 
Richard Leeds, 
Timothy Mather, . 
James Minot, . 
Robert Babcock, . 
John Fenno, . 
Widow Hill, 
Augustine Clement, . 
Thomas Tolman, sen. and 
John Tolman, 
Thomas Tolman, Jr. 
Mr. Patten, 
John Minot, 

The total number of acres embraced in the above 
divisions, is 754. 

The selectmen were not respecters of persons, 
when any one appeared in town without proper au- 

Isaac Jones, 
Joseph Wilkes, 
John Smith, 
Anthony Fisher, 
David Jones, 
Richard Hall, . 
Mr. Minot, . 
John Blake, 
William Clarke, . 
Timothy Tilestone, 
William Pond, . 
William Trescott, 
Enoch Wiswall, . 
John Wiswall, 
Joseph Long, 
Samuel Rigby, 
Nathan Bradley, . 
Anthony Fisher, 
Isaac Jones, 
Richard Hall, . 
John Pelton, 
Richard Leeds, 
Thomas Lake, 





, 12 

, 12 

. 2 


thority. This year they sent to John Gomel, one of 
their most wealthy men, and demanded why Ralph 
Bradish was an inmate of his house. Mr. Gomel 
answered that he would secure the town n gainst any 
damage in the case, and therefore he was admitted 
an inhabitant. Mr. Gomel being a tanner, had 
probably hired Ralph to assist in his business, and 
the latter was thus looked after. There was no 
encouragement and little safety, in those days, for 
that class of individuals now denominated loafers. 

This year the town again voted to pay Mr. Ma 
ther 80, and Mr. Stoughton 50, for their services 
as ministers. 

The church had two meetings in September about 
two of the brethren at Milton, who had taken 
offence against Robert Badcock. After consultation 
" it did not appear that there was such offence given 
as was apprehended." 

The question which was so long agitated in the 
church in relation to the rights of parents to de 
mand baptism for their children, was brought before 
the church by two important persons, in the follow 
ing manner. 

" The 16 (7) 68, Mr. Mather acquainted the 
church with a motion made to him and the church, 
) by Mrs. Stoughton and her daughter Taylor, name 
ly, that her children might .be baptized, she being a 
member of this church by her parents covenant ; 
and after much agitation, the issue was that Mr. 
Mather should speak with Mrs. Taylor, to see if she 
would join in full communion with the church, and 
so come to the Lord s supper." " The 24 (8) 68, 


Mr. Mather declared to the church that he having 
spoken with Mrs. Taylor, as aforesaid, her answer 
was that she did not judge herself worthy or as yet 
fit for the Lord s supper, and therefore durst not 
adventure thereupon, but yet did desire baptism for 
her children ; but the church would not fully or 
comfortably agree about it, and so it rested." 

1669. Selectmen Hopestill Foster, Samuel Clap, 
John Capen, Richard Hall and James Blake. 

A law had been passed by the General Court, re 
quiring young men to be looked after, who were not 
under family government, and the constable in Dor 
chester was ordered to notify the young men who 
came under that rule to appear at the house of Capt. 
Foster, c; presently " after the next lecture. The 
constable brought the following persons before the 
selectmen, who were required by said law, " to take 
inspection of their orderly walking and submitting 
to family government," viz., Richard Francis, Joshua 
Henshaw, Ralph Bradish, Joseph Birch, Francis 
Oliver, Jonathan Hill, Henry Roberts, Jonathan 
Birch, Asahel Smith, Thomas Birch, Richard Butt, 
Cornelius Morgan, Peter Chaplin, Nathaniel Wales, 
Edward Martin, Adam Wright. Thomas Grant was 
not warned. 

The selectmen and elders agreed to go about the 
town and make inquiry of persons as to their man 
ner of living, and whether they profited by public 
or private instruction. 

Mr. Hope Atherton, son of Gen. Atherton, kept 
the school this year, but had a call to settle in the 
ministry at Hadley, and the church there sent to 


the selectmen of this town to know if they would 
give up his engagement, to which they consented. 

The following curious but emphatic warrant was 
placed in the hands of Samuel Bigby, the constable, 

" To the Constable of Dorchester You are re 
quired in his Majesty s name to repair to Joseph 
Birch, and require him, from the selectmen, to put 
himself in an orderly way of living, either by plac 
ing himself with some master, that may keep him 
in constant employment, so as may give satisfaction 
to the Court, or else to expect that he will be pre 
sented to the Court for disorderly living." 

The latter part of this year the town voted to 
build a house for the ministry, and a committee was 
chosen to look out a convenient place for it. It was 
to be " such a house as James Blake s 30 feet in 
length, 20 ft. wide, and 14 between joints girt work." 
It appears doubtful whether this work was carried 
into effect, for the next minister was Mr. Flint, and 
he purchased a house of Mr. Clark. This house has 
been pulled down within the memory of the present 
generation. It stood near the spot where now stands 
the stable of Gov. Henry J. Gardner. 

An important event in the history of the town 
was the death of its pastor, Rev. Richard Mather. 
The church records announce his decease in the fol 
lowing simple, yet expressive language. " The Rev. 
Mr. Richard Mather, teacher of the church of Dor 
chester, rested from his labours." How great were 
those labors ! Born in poverty, he worked his way 
upwards by diligence, industry and perseverance, to 


a conspicuous position in the country of his adop 
tion, after suffering obloquy and persecution in the 
land of his birth. He was the son of Thomas and 
Margaret Mather, of Winwick, County of Lanca 
shire, and was born in 1596. His parents were 
strongly inclined to give him a good education, and 
for that purpose put themselves to great straits. A 
part of the time he walked four miles to school, where 
it was his misfortune to have a master who w r as very 
severe in his discipline, so that he was well nigh 
discouraged from following out the design of his pa 
rents, and earnestly desired to be taken from school. 
Like most of those who have passed through similar 
trials, he remembered them through life, and left this 
judicious hint for those who might come after him. 
" Oh that all schoolitiasters," he says, " would learn 
Wisdome, Moderation and Equity towards their Scho 
lars, and seek rather to win the hearts of Children 
by righteous, loving, and courteous usage, than to 
alienate their minds by partiality and undue severi 
ty." After he had been some years in school, " some 
Popish merchants coming out of Wales, were inqui 
sitive to know whether there were not any pregnant 
Wits in that school, whom they might procure for 
Apprentices ] Presently Richard Mather was men 
tioned to them as a pregnant youth." These mer 
chants applied to his father to procure his services, 
and his estate being in a very low condition, he was 
upon the point of accepting the offer for his son ; 
but being importuned by those who felt an interest 
in his progress and welfare, together with the fear of 
" Popish masters," he concluded to continue him in 


school. Shortly after, Richard was solicited to keep 
school at Toxteth, where he removed in 1611, and was 
" found fit to be a schoolmaster at fifteen years of 
age." After he had kept school awhile, he entered 
Brazen-nose College, at Oxford, and before he had 
spent as much time there as he desired, he received 
a call to preach the gospel at Toxteth, where he had 
formerly kept school. This call he accepted. He 
preached his first sermon Nov. 30, 1618, and " there 
was a very great concourse of people to hear him." 
He received Episcopal ordination, by the hands of 
Dr. Morton, Bishop of Chester, " after the mode of 
those times." He had previously shown a disposi 
tion to non-conformity, but was strongly urged to 
accept of ordination in the usual way, because he 
could not otherwise continue with them. As with 
others among his cotemporaries, non-conformity grew 
upon him, and he was too conscientious to confine 
himself to the observance of religious forms which 
he in heart despised. Sept. 29th, 1624, he married 
Katharine, daughter of Edmund Hoult, Esq., of 
Bury, but it was some time before the father would 
consent to it, he having a prejudice against " non- 
conformable Puritans." She was the mother of six 
sons : viz., Samuel, Timothy, Nathaniel and Joseph, 
born in England ; and Eleazer and Increase, born 
here. His reputation spread as a preacher, and be 
sides officiating on Sundays at Toxteth, " he kept a 
lecture at Prescot," and preached in various other 
places, and often at funerals. His lecture at Prescot 
caused no little excitement ; and in August, 1633, 
complaints were made against him for non-conformity, 


but by the influence of Simon Byby, a " near alli 
ance " of the Bishop, and other gentlemen of influ 
ence, he was restored. His restoration, however, 
was of short duration ; for Bishop Neal, Archbish 
op of York, in 1634, sent Dr. Cousins and Mr. 
Pryn as Visitors into Lancashire. They soon had 
Mr. Mather before them, and passed upon him a sen 
tence of suspension, as his biographer says, " merely 
for his non-conformity to the inventions of men in 
the worship of God." He carried a bold front when 
arraigned before them, and says, " the terrour of 
their threatning words, of their Pursevants, and of 
the rest of their Pomp, did not so terrify my minde, 
but that I could stand before them without being 
daunted in the least measure." The Established 
Church, at this time, bore rule, and although subse 
quently it suffered itself under the reign of Popery, 
yet it was so similar to the latter in spirit, that non 
conformity or heresy was a greater crime than many 
for which death was the penalty. The case of Mr. 
Mather was a peculiar one ; and his friends endea 
vored to obtain his liberty, but without success. 
" The Visitor asked how long he had been a minis 
ter ] Answer was made, that he had been in the 
Ministry fifteen years. And (said he) how often 
hath he worn the Surpless ? Answer was returned 
that he had never worn it. What (said the Visitor, 
swearing as he spake it), preach fifteen years and 
never wear a Surpless !" adding that the committal of 
a certain great misdemeanor would have been better 
for him. 

Finding that there was likely to be no peace for 


him in Old England, he turned his thoughts towards 
the new settlements across the Atlantic, and soon 
engaged transportation for himself and family to 
New England. " His parting with his people and 
other friends in Lancashire, was like Paul s taking 
his leave of" Ephesus, with much sorrow, many tears 
being shed by those who expected to see his face no 
more in this world." His journey w r as begun in 
April, 1635 ; changing his garments and travelling 
incognito, to avoid the Pursuivants. He arrived in 
Boston, Aug. 17, 1635 ; being out in the memora 
ble storm of Aug. 15, of that year, two days before 
his arrival. He remained in Boston a few months, 
and with his wife joined the Church there. The 
Churches at Plymouth, Roxbury and Dorchester, 
each invited him to settle with them, but by the ad 
vice of Messrs. Cotton, Hooker and others, he ac 
cepted the call at Dorchester. Here he remained 
the rest of his days, although his old friends at Tox- 
teth desired his return to them, after the Hierarchy 
was deposed in England. The death of his first wife 
was a great affliction to him, she being a wise and 
prudent woman, and relieving him from all secular 
cares. After living a widower about a year and a 
half, he married the widow of Rev. John Cotton. 
He was taken sick at Boston, April 16, 1669, being 
then one of a Council of Ministers to settle some dif 
ferences there. He returned home the next day, and 
died on the 22d. His disease was the stone, from 
which he suffered greatly. He is said to have been 
a man of great bodily strength, and a " very power 
ful, awakening and zealous preacher." There have 


been few families in New England, from its settle 
ment to the present time, of so great an influence as 
that of the Mathers. Four of Richard s sons were 
ministers : vi/., Eleazer, at Northampton ; Samuel, 
in Dublin, Ireland ; Nathaniel, at Barnstable in De 
von, and Rotterdam in Holland ; and Increase, in 

In the Church Records is the following Anagram. 

" Third in New England s Dorchester, 
Was this ordained minister. 
Second to none for fruitfulness, 
Abilities and usefulness. 

Divine his charms, years seven times seven, 

Wise to win souls from earth to heaven. 

Prophet s reward he gains above, 

But great s our loss by his remove." 

The Church Records also contain the following 
Epitaph : 

" Sacred to God his servant Richard Mather, 
Sons like him, good and great, did call him father. 
Hard to discern a difference in degree, 
Twixt his bright learning and high piety. 
Short time his sleeping dust lies covered down, 
So can t his soul or his deserved renown. 
From s birth six lustres and a jubilee 
To his repose : but laboured hard in thee, 
Dorchester ! four more than thirty years. 
His sacred dust with thee thine honour rears." 

Upon his tomb-stone is the following : 

" Dom : Sacer. 

Richardus Hie Dormit Matherus, 
(Sed nee Totus, nee mora Diuturna) 
Laetatus genuise Pares. 
Incertum est utrum Doctioran melior. 
Anima & Gloria non queunt Humani. 


Divinely Rich and Learned Richard Mather ; 
Sons like him Prophets great, rejoyced this Father. 
Short time his sleeping dust here s covered down, 
Not his ascended Spirit or Renown. 

V. D. M. in Ang. 16 Ans. In Dorc. 

N, A. 34 Ans. Ob. Apr. 22, 1669. 
Mt. Sue 73. 

1670. Selectmen Hopestill Foster, John Capen, 
Richard Hall, Samuel Clap and James Blake. 

This year, Squamaug, who ruled as Sachem of the 
Punkapaug tribe of Indians, during the minority of 
Jeremy son of Josias Chickatabut, confirmed the 
deed formerly given by said Josias to the Town. 

June 4, 1670, the Town voted that " the meeting 
house shall be removed from the place where now it 
stands, to the Rocky-hill by the School House, and 
be set up in the same form that it now is." It was 
to be removed by September, 1671. 

The Town voted to purchase Wm. Clark s house 
for the use of the ministry. This was not carried 
into effect at the time ; and shortly after, they voted 
to purchase Hudson Leavitt s house for that pur 
pose. But this project fell through, and William 
Clark s house was bought (not Thomas s, as stated 
on page 116 of this work). John Foster kept the 
School this year, and received 25. 

After another, and the last, application was made 
Jr to Mr. Stoughton, to be minister of the Church, and 
he still declining, there was talk of sending to Eng 
land for one, and the matter was left to the conside- 
L. ration of Mr. Stoughton, Capt. Roger Clap and Capt. 
Foster. They were to advise with other Elders, and 
see if a supply could not be had in the country. 


The Church voted ten pounds, and the Town the 
like sum, to erect a pillar over Mr. Mather s grave. 

In August, of this year, the Church voted for a 
minister. The candidates were Mr. Josiah Flint, of 
Braintree; Mr. Benjamin Eliot, of Roxbury ; and 
Mr. Butler, in Old England. Mr. Flint and Mr. 
Eliot had the most votes, and the next Sunday, the 
choice being between them, Mr. Flint had the major 

There had been, during the lifetime of Josias 
Chickatabut, a disagreement between him and King 
Philip, of Mount Hope, about the boundary lines 
of their jurisdictions. July 13th, of this year, the 
matter was amicably settled by Philip and Squa- 
maug, Sachem of Punkapaug, and brother of the 
first-named, who met at the house of Capt. Hudson, 
near Wading river. The following letters, in regard 
to this matter, are copied from the originals, now 
among the ancient documents of the town. 

Squamaug to Capt. Foster of Dorchester. 
11 Capt. ffoster, 

" My respects to yourselfe and the rest of your select men. 

" Sir, these are to intreat you by this bearer whom I send to 
you on purpose, send mee the five pounds that you engaged to 
my deceased brother Should bee payed in the begining of this 
winter past ; I have at pr sent many ocations, but intend shortly 
to come over and treat further with you. I know noe reason 
that the mount hope Sachem s pretended title to some of the 
lands mentioned in your deed should frustrate the agreement ; 
if possibly that Sachem had any land within your bounds it is 
but a very little aboue the pattent line, and the Colloney of 
plymouth have purchased it of him before the pattent lines were 
run. If you will give him for your securaty you maye, but I 


am weir asuered that plymoth men have deeds for it already ; 
and you have enough of us for your mony whoe are the knowne 
proprietors; thus hopeing wee shall haue noe controversy, I 
take leaue and remayne, sir, your ffrend and servant, 

DANIELL (alias) SQJJAMUCK, Sachem. 
Mattakeeset, March 19, 69-70. 

Capt. Foster to King Philip of Mount Hope. 
11 To Philip, Sachem of Mount Hope, Capt. Foster of Dor 
chester sendeth greeting. You may by this vnderstand I rec d . 
yo r letter dated June the 15 th 1670, wherein you desire a meet 
ing ahout land at pole plaine and within our towneship. It 
seemes there is some differenc about the land whose it is, wee 
say tis ours already both by grant from our Court and also by 
agreem*. with Indians, who say that it was theirs, and engaged 
to cleare any clayme that philip or any others should make to 
it, and ther fre think it not needfull to trouble ourselves any fur 
ther, yet because you have desired a meeting once before and 
now againe, we shall some of vs be together with some of the 
bay Indians give you a meeting if the lord permit at Captain 
Hudson s farme at Wading riuer vpon the 12 th day of July 
next ; that then may bee hurd any difference as to the land 
within o r township to Plymouth & the bay patent line ; not 
else at present but remain y r frind H. FOSTER : with the 

Consent of the townsmen. 
Dor. this 22^ 
June 1670 

1671. Selectmen William Stoughton, Hopes till 
Foster, John Capen, Richard Hall, and William 

When the vote was taken by the Town, April 17, 
of this year, whether they would have Mr. Flint to 
" preach the word to the whole Town," there was 
not a man against it. 

Joseph Birch was warned to forbear frequenting 


Nicholas George s ordinary, and " said George not to 
suffer him." 

" Joseph Long was sent for, to answer for enter 
taining a maid, or young woman, in his house and 
service, who was not of any good report. His an 
swer was, she was to depart the town the next 

"The same day (that is, Dec. 11, 1671), it was 
ordered that a warrant should be directed to the Con 
stable to go up to Capt. Clap s farm, where Henry 
Merrifield lives, and enquire whether his daughter, 
who married Furnell, be abiding at his house, which 
if she be, then to demand or take by distress ten 
shillings for his entertaining her contrary to the 
town order." At the next meeting of the Selectmen, 
Mr. Merrifield answered that the reason was, she 
was their daughter, and they could not turn her out 
of doors in winter, but that she would willingly re 
turn to her husband as soon as opportunity offered. 

This year a letter came from the County Court, 
desiring the Church here, with that at the north end 
of Boston, and the churches of Dedham and Wey- 
mouth, to send their messengers to Braintree " to 
enquire into the slowness of the Church " there to 
provide a minister. The Church nominated and de 
sired Mr. Stoughton, the Kuling Elder, Capt. Clap, v- 
and Capt. Foster, to go for that purpose. 

The Church sent to Mr. Flint, to " stir him up," 
and hasten his removal to this town. The 3d of 
December he gave his answer, accepting the office of 
Pastor, and his ordination took place on the 27th of 
the same month. The churches sent to were those 


in Boston, Cambridge, Charlcstown, lloxbury and 
Weymouth. It was voted that Mr. Eliot, of llox 
bury, manage the ordination and give the charge, 
that Mr. Chauncy give the right hand of fellowship, 
and Mr. Eliot, the ruling Elder, and Deacon Capen, 
were appointed to lay on hands. We may well ima 
gine what an uncomfortable time it must have been, 
on this occasion, which took place at the most incle 
ment season of the year, without fire in the meeting 
house, and the services probably occupying nearly 
the whole day. 

This year Jeremy, son of Josias Chickatabut, con 
firmed his Uncle Squamaug s sale to the town. The 
Town paid all necessary expenses to satisfy the In 
dians, who were better treated then, than in later 
times, " when they have been driven from their na 
tive soil by the sword of the invader, and then darkly 
slandered by the pen of the historian." The original 
natives of our soil have been grossly abused, not 
always because they were guilty, but because they 
were ignorant and weak. Civilization does not seem 
to agree with their nature, as they die out where 
that flourishes, or become vagrants in towns and vil 
lages, where their forefathers roamed and hunted, 
and where once " no smoke curled among the trees, 
but the Indian was welcome to sit down by its fire 
and join the hunter in his repast." But the time for 
these cruelties is nearly over, and the words of an 
old Indian warrior will soon be verified : " We are 
driven back," he says, " until we can retreat no 
farther. Our hatchets are broken our bows are 
snapped our fires are nearly extinguished. A little 


longer, and the white men will cease to persecute us 
for we shall cease to exist." 

In the " History of Lynn," is the following, which 
is said to he copied from a leaf of a Bible. 

May 22. " A very awful thunder and a very 
great storm of wind and hail, especially at Dorches 
ter town, so that it broke many windows at the 

1672. Selectmen William Stoughton, Hopestill 
Foster, John Capen, William Simmer and Richard 

This year and the last, the Selectmen vigorously 
enforced the law upon individuals who were without 
employment, and upon the young who were not un 
der family government. John Hoppin, and Stephen 
Hoppin, Jr., were among those sent for, and a fort 
night given them to provide masters. Stephen soon 
came, and said he had agreed with Joseph Long to 
attend his boat ; but the latter was not approved of 
by the Selectmen, and Stephen was directed to look 
out some other person. Arthur Cartwright was 
called upon in relation to his son, and answered 
that he was " about to put him apprentice to a kins 
man of his who is a seaman." Robert Styles, was 
called to answer for idleness ; and it was found that 
neither he nor his wife improved their time as they 
should. Peter Lyon appeared, and reported that his 
sons followed their employment, and for the time to 
come he would look diligently after them. Timothy 
Wales appeared without his sons, and his answers 
were offensive and contemptuous to the Selectmen. 
Shortly after, he appeared, upon summons, with the 


boys, who were found very ignorant, not being able 
to read. Mr. Wales made some acknowledgment of 
his offensive words and carriage at the former meet 
ing, which is on file. Thomas Birch was summoned 
by the Constable to appear before the Selectmen, to 
give an account of " his orderly walking." 

This year the Town voted that for the future they 
would choose a Treasurer, which office has been 
continued to the present time. 

The Church voted that their deacons return thanks 
unto Mrs. Thacher, of Boston, for her gift of a 
silver cup for the sacrament, and a green cushion 
for the desk. This cup is one of the ancient vessels 
now used by the First Church, but not the oldest. 
The following letter doubtless refers to an agreement 
made by Capt. Foster, on the part of the Town, with 
King Philip, at the meeting appointed by the former 
in his letter of June 22d, 1670 (See p. 220). 

Philip sachem of mount hope 

To Capt. Hopestill Foster of Dorchester 
Sendeth Greeting 

S r You may please to remember that when 
I last saw You att Wading riuer You promised me six pounds 
in goods ; now my request is that you would send me (by ?) 
this Indian fiue yards of White light collered serge to make me 
a coat and a good holland shirt redy made ; and a pr of good 
Indian briches all which I have present need of, therefoer I 
pray S r faile not to send them by my Indian and with them 
the seurall prices of them ; and silke &i buttens & 7 yards Gal- 
lownes for trimming : not else att present to trouble you w lh 
onley the subscription of KING PHILIP 

Mount hope his Majesty P P 

y e 15 th of May 


1673. Selectmen William Stoughton, Hopestill 
Foster, John Capen, Richard Hall and William 
S iimner. 

Capt. Roger Clap had for many years been a re 
presentative of the Town, as well as Commander at 
the Castle ; " this year y e Court sent an order to 
choose another Deputy in y e Room of Capt. Clap, 
his presence being necessary at y e Castle because y e 
times were troublesome." John Capen was chosen 
in his place, and continued to fill it several years. 

The 4th of March the Committee made report of 
the place they had pitched upon, on Rocky Hill, to 
erect a meeting-house, which was near the " lime 
kiln," and twelve or fifteen rods north-west of the 
present meeting-house belonging to the first parish. 
There was some opposition to the spot selected, and 
it was decided " by severing the company." The 
votes were in favor of the place selected by the Com 
mittee, viz., 41 besides the Committee, for it, and 25 
against it. The house was not erected until 1676. 

There was a good deal of trouble with the Birch 
family from time to time, and the Selectmen were 
anxious to get rid of them. Jonathan was absent 
awhile, at Lancaster, but soon returned and persist 
ed in remaining, so that the case was carried to the 
County Court. But the question was, where could 
the poor fellow stay, being warned out of all other 
places. Joseph Birch was also called before the Se 
lectmen to answer for idleness. His answer was, 
" that at present he had no iron nor coals ; but he 
w d endeavour to reform." From this answer, it ap 
pears that he was a blacksmith. 


Samuel Bigby was another person who neglected 
his calling, lived a dissolute life, and was a trouble 
to the Selectmen. 

The Town agreed to pay Rev. Mr. Flint, ninety 
pounds this year, one quarter in money. 

Nathan Bradley petitioned the Selectmen for li 
berty to sell cider by retail, which was granted, " on 
account of his low condition, he observing good 
order in so doing." 

July 16th, of this year, the monthly lecture be 
gan, and was continued until about 1838. It was 
at first held on Wednesday ; but the latter part of 
the time on the Friday preceding the Communion 
day, which was the first Sunday in the month. 

1674. Selectmen William Stoughton, Hopestill 
Foster, John Capen, William Sumner and Richard 

This year died Mr. Wm. Poole, a man very much 
esteemed by his fellow-townsmen. He kept school 
until he was 76 years of age. 

An accident befel the bell on the meeting-house 
this year ; and on the 12th of February, at a meet 
ing of the Selectmen, " It was ordered that the 
Meeting-house bell, being broken, and, it may be, 
dangerous to be rung, it shall not be rung any more, 
but speedily taken down, and means used to convey 
it to England that another may be procured either 
there or elsewhere." The Selectmen likewise order 
ed that the Buryiiig-ground should be " fenced in 
with a stone wall ;" also that the Constable " speak 
with Wm. Chaplain and give him notice that com 
plaint is made of some abuse that is committed at 


or about his house by playing at Kettle-pins, and 
spending the time idly." Chaplain was to see that 
such abuse was reformed, and " not to sell beer 
without license." 

March 26th, of this year, was appointed as a day 
of humiliation and prayer, on account of troubles at 
home, " outbreaking of gross sins," differences in 
some societies, shortness of the last harvest of corn, 
" and by reason of a setting out of ships of war to 
defend our navigation by sea." On the 27th of Sep 
tember, was a thanksgiving for the blessing of the 
fruits of the earth, continuance of peace and liberty, 
" and for the ceasing of the war between our nation 
and Holland." 

1675. Selectmen John Capen, Samuel Clap, 
James Blake, Richard Withington and Daniel Pres 
ton. Capt. Hopestill Foster, who had so long serv 
ed as one of the Selectmen, was again chosen but 

William Chaplain petitioned for leave to keep an 
ordinary, but it was not granted. 

Feb. 12th, John Pope was ordered to appear before 
the Selectmen at their next meeting, with such of 
his children " as are of capacity for learning." 

March 1st, of this year, the Selectmen ordered 
that William Sumner and John Capen should attend 
the next County Court, " to make their address 
about Mr. Gibson s Will respecting his legacy to 
our School." This was the bequest which gave to 
the Town the " School Pasture," which has proved 
so great a benefit to its public schools. 

June 29th, of this year, was kept as a day of hu- 


miliation, in regard to the war with King Philip. 
The war, and other matters, which made a heavy tax 
necessary, kept many of the people in great straits, 
and the Town felt obliged to assist them. 

The act which is supposed to have led to this 
war, was the killing of a Dorchester Indian by the 
name of Wassausmon, usually called Sassamon. He 
became a christianized Indian ; but was for a season 
a kind of secretary to King Philip. He then left 
him and preached, and, as Philip s followers suppos 
ed, divulged some of his plans to the Plymouth 
Colony, upon which they murdered him and threw 
his body into Assawomset pond, and three of Phi 
lip s men were executed for the act. 

Mr. Ammi Reuhamah Corlet assisted Mr. Flint in 
the ministry this year. 

The Church was exceedingly scrupulous in the 
discipline of its members, and no reputation or 
standing was proof against it. Sept. 5th, of this 
year, Wm. Sumner, a gentleman who had for many 
years been one of the representatives to the General 
Court, as well as one of the Selectmen of the Town, 
appeared before the Church " to give satisfaction 
for offensive speeches uttered against the Committee 
of the Militia." 

There were five fasts kept in the town this year. 

The destruction of Brookfield, the death of Capt. 
Hutchinson, one of the Commanders killed at that 
place, and other advantages gained by the Indians, 
made them very bold and daring. It was about 
this time that a Narraganset Indian came to the 
house of Mr. Minot, in Dorchester, while all the fa- 


mily were at meeting except a girl and two small 
children, and demanded admittance, which was de 
nied. He then fired his gun at the house several 
times. The girl defended her castle with bravery, 
secured the children under brass kettles, and fired 
at and wounded the Indian. He being desperate, 
attempted to force his way in through a window, 
but she threw a shovel full of fire into his face and 
upon his blanket, which caused him to flee. It is 
said that " the Government of Massachusetts Bay 
presented this brave young woman with a silver 
wristband, on which her name was engraved, with 
this motto, ; She slew the Narraganset hunted" 

Thomas Danforth, son of Thomas, of Dorchester, 
was killed in the swamp fight in the Narraganset 
country, and John Spur, of Dorchester, and Benj. 
Crane, of Milton, were wounded in the same fight. 

We learn from "Drake," that Mr. Thomas Dan 
forth, of Dorchester, petitioned the General Court 
in 1676, saying that a poor blind Indian came to 
him, and brought two small children and gave them 
to him and his son, and he desired that he might 
enjoy them, partly on account of the loss of his 
eldest son. 

The following list of soldiers from this Town for 
the war, we find named in the Genealogical Regis 
ter ; they were in Capt. Johnson s Company. 

Henry Ware, his man, John Plummer, Wanting. 

Hopestill Humphrey, Charles Capin, Henry Withington, 

John Spurre, Tho. Grant, George Minot, 

Ebenezer Hill, Tho. Davenport, Isaack Koyall. 

Nicholas Weymouth, Robert Stanton, 

From Milton John Fennow, Obadiah Wheaton, Joseph Tuck 
er, Benj. Crane. 


1676. Selectmen John Capen, Samuel Clap, 
James Blake, Daniel Preston and Richard With- 

This year, Oct. 15th, Capt. Hopestill Foster died. 
The tomb-stone which marks the spot where he was 
buried is nearly as fresh in appearance now, as when 
first erected. Capt. Foster was a representative, and 
one of the Selectmen, for many years, and was a 
great loss to the town. 

The meeting-house which had been talked of so 
long, was built this year ; and a row of elm trees 
were set out near it by Thomas Tileston, which 
flourished for about one hundred years ; having 
been cut down about the commencement of the re 
volutionary war. 

Mr. Isaac Royal undertook the building of the 
meeting-house, which cost in the neighborhood of 
200. It was 50 feet long and 45 feet wide, and 
was used as a place of worship until 1744. 

Mr. Stojighton was sent as a messenger to Eng 
land this year, with Mr. Bulkley ; and all the 
Churches in the Colony held a day of humiliation, 
Dec. 10th, partly in respect to their mission. The 
war with the Indians in the Colony pretty much 
closed with this year, but it had been a fearful strug 
gle, and nearly every family in New England was in 
mourning for the loss of " a relation or near friend." 
Dr. Trumbull, in his History of Connecticut, esti 
mates that about one-eleventh part of the able-bodi 
ed men of the Colonies were killed or lost in this 
service. Many of the families in the country re 
moved to Boston and vicinity for protection ; the 


farms were deserted, and to the loss of friends was 
added the fear of starvation. Under these distress 
ing circumstances, aid and comfort, in the shape of 
money and provisions, arrived in 1677, from London 
and Dublin. The noble return made by the de 
scendants of our suffering forefathers, in 1849, by 
sending the U. S. Sloop of War Jamestown to Ire 
land, loaded with provisions and other comforts, was 
a beautiful and deserved return for this great act of 
humanity. Drake, in his History of Boston, says, 
" In this extremity, Dr. Increase Mather did, by his 
letters, procure a whole ship load of provisions from 
the charity of his friends in Dublin, and a conside 
rable sum of money, and much clothing, from the 
like charity of his friends in London, greatly to the 
relief of the poor people here. Of the charities re 
ceived from Ireland, a distribution was made in 
March, 1677, from which it is shown that Boston 
suffered nearly five times as much by the war as any 
other place. One hundred and sixteen families, or 
about 432 persons, were recipients of the donation. 
Many of them, however, were those who had been 
compelled to take refuge here." 

1677. Selectmen John Capen, Daniel Preston, 
Richard Withington, Samuel Clap and Jas. Blake. 

This year the Selectmen appointed a Committee 
to inspect and carry more fully into operation the 
law in reference to idle persons, and entertaining 
persons in private houses " contrary to good order." 

Among the charges against the Town, this year, 
was John Capen s, of 26 days attendance at the 


General Court, 3 IBs. ; also Is. for his horse to 
draw the bell to Boston. 

The Selectmen had a good deal of trouble with 
Joseph Birch, on account of his intemperance. He 
was again called before them, June 4th, of this year, 
for being " lately drunk ; and being owned by him, 
he was ordered to pay his fine or sit in the stocks." 

As already mentioned, the war with King Philip 
forced many of those who lived in the outskirts of 
the plantation, away from their homes, to places 
where there was more safety. Wm. Trescott asked 
abatement of his taxes for the years 1675 and 76, 
" because of the troubles of the wars, whereby he 
deserted his place at Brush-hill." 

Kobert Spur, who was a person of some distinc 
tion, was called before the Church to make acknow 
ledgment of the offence " of giving entertainment 
in his house to loose and vain persons, especially 
Joseph Belcher his frequent coming to his daughter, 
contrary to the admonition of the Court, which was 
greatly to the offence of the said Belcher s nearest 
relations and divers others." 

The General Court issued a very spirited order 
and proclamation for a day of humiliation, to be 
observed on the 1st of March, which is inserted in 
full in the records of the Church. The following 
is an extract ; viz. " Well may we fear another 
storm of wrath, and that the just and holy God will 
punish us seven times for our many and grievous 
provocations," &c. 

There was a renewing of the Covenant in the 


Church, to which ninety-seven persons gave their 

Samuel Rigby was called forth to answer for the 
sin of cursing, excessive drinking, and neglect of 
attendance on the public ordinances ; and not giv 
ing satisfaction, was laid under admonition. 

"John Mcrrifield (though not in full communion) 
was called forth before the Church to answer for 
his sin of drunkenness, and also for contempt and 
slighting the power of Christ in his Church in not 
appearing formerly, though often called upon and 
sent unto ; but he made some excuse for his drunk 
enness, in that being not well at Boston he took a 
little strong water, and coming out in the air did 
distemper him ; and for the other offence he did 
acknowledge his fault therein." 

1678. Selectmen Johji Capen, Wm. Sumner, 
James Blake, Samuel Clap and Daniel Preston. 

William Chaplain again petitioned the Selectmen 
for liberty to keep a house of public entertainment, 
but it was not granted. They renewed, however, 
that of widow George, whose husband had kept 
one for a long time, and entertained the Selectmen 
and other town officers at their meetings. 

John Brown and John Hoppin were notified to 
quit the Town. The latter was summoned to ap 
pear before the Selectmen to give an account of his 
manner of living. His brother Thomas Hoppin 
also appeared before them. It appeared that his 
chief business was gunning, but he had no settled 
place of abode. This did not satisfy the Selectmen. 
John Brown thought he might come into the town 


and become an inhabitant, because he was born in it, 
and he might be a help to his father and mother. 
The Town granted him liberty. 

This year the Town paid for killing seven wolves : 
they also voted to dispose of the old meeting-house, 
and a part of the trees which stood about it. Mr. 
Isaac Royal subsequently purchased the meeting 
house for 10. 

The 24th of April, this year, " there was a Church 
gathered by some of our brethren that lived at Mil 
ton. It was done in our meeting-house at Dorches 
ter, because of some opposition that did appear. 
The persons they sent unto were the Elders and 
Messengers of three churches in Boston, and Wey- 
mouth, Braintree and Dedham. The magistrates 
were acquainted with it, but only the Governour 
was here, by reason of the wet and snow season. 
Mr. Allen did first pray, and then Mr. Flint did 
preach, and then prayed. Afterward the Brethren 
were called on, one after another, to declare the work 
of grace that God had wrought on them, to the 
number of seven." " The Brethren that entertained 
this Covenant and made public relation were these. 

" Robert Tucker, Member of Weymoulh. 

Anthony Newton,^ 

Wm. Blake, 

Thomas Swift, J> Members of Dorchester Church. 

George Sumner, 

Ebenezer Clap, J 

Edward Blake, Member of the 2d Church in Boston." 

"After this was done, there were more of the 


Brethren that did at the same time enter into the 
same Covenant with the former, namely : 

" Thomas Holman, Manasses Tucker, 

George Lyon, James Tucker. 

Ephraim Tucker, 

" And then Mr. Torrey was appointed to give the 
Right hand of Fellowship, and Mr. Mather prayed ; 
and a Psalm was sung, and the assembly dismissed." 

The Church, at a meeting, agreed to a petition to 
send to the Court against Ordinaries " that have 
not a sufficient guard over them." 

On the 6th of June there was a contribution in 
Dorchester, for the relief of the captives which were 
taken from Hatfield. 8 5 s. 2d. in money was col 

Nov. 17th, of this year, was the first day of meet 
ing in the new meeting-house. 

"The 1st of December, 1678, Mr. Flint proposed 
to the Church a day of Thanksgiving by the Church. 
The grounds of it were an engagement that was 
made to God, that if he would hear prayer and re 
store Capt. Clap to health again (being sick about 
a year and a half ago) ; also in regard of Mr. Stough- 
ton, who although he be not returned yet, God hath 
preserved his person, and so far blessed their endea 
vours for the public ; also that God has so much pre 
served the town from and under that contageous dis 
temper the small pox, when he had so sadly visited 
other places, as "^Charlestown, Boston, &c. ; as also 
for the peace we enjoy in this Town, notwithstand 
ing the great fears of a disquietment in regard to 
some public transaction about the Meeting House, 


and other mercies. The day mentioned was next 
lecture day, being the 18th of December. To this 
motion the church agreed." 

1679. Selectmen John Capen, Wm. Sumner, 
James Blake, Richard Hall and Samuel Clap. 

Robert Stiles was called before the Selectmen, to 
give an account how he improved his time ; also the 
same in relation to his children. The conclusion 
was, that he should look out a place for one of his 
children, or the Selectmen would provide one. Ebe- 
nezer Hill was also " advertised concerning idleness." 
Francis Ball, early in 1680, was likewise ordered to 
appear before them, that they might " enquire con 
cerning his outward estate." He was poor, and 
needed some assistance from the Town. They ad 
vised him to dispose of two of his children, but his 
answer was that his wife was unwilling. The Se 
lectmen wished him to persuade his wife to it. 

This year the Selectmen granted the petition of 
Desire Clap, James Blake, John Blake and others, 
to build a new seat in the meeting-house. The 
Town also voted to pay Rev. Mr. Flint 100 for his 
services ; sixty in money and forty in " current pay;" 
Mr. Flint to provide what help he wanted. 

The Selectmen, at their meeting of Dec. 10th, ap 
pointed Lieut. Capen and Sergeant Clap to call up 
on John Mason for the legacy given by John Gomel 
towards the School. Mr. Gomel was a very respecta 
ble citizen, a tanner by trade, and felt a deep inte 
rest in the prosperity of the Town. He had no 
children, but John Mason lived with him, it would 
appear, as an adopted son. The same persons were 


also to call for the legacy of 5, left by widow 
Burge, for the poor of the town. Mrs. Burge was 
the wife of Mr. Gomel, subsequently of John Burge, 
and all three died within the space of three or four 
years. Mrs. Burge s legacy was probably in land, 
as there was a piece of land which she left, the pro 
ceeds of which were given to the town. It was in 
charge of Eider Samuel Clap, the "sargent" above 
named, until 1708, the time of his death. 

A list of persons who removed to other towns in 
consequence of the King Philip war, and who ought 
to pay taxes in this town, appears in the Records. 
They were Henry Gurnsey, William Chaplin, Mr. 
Beal, Henry Ware and John Gill. 

In the early part of this year the Church began 
to question some of its members, and make a settle 
ment with them for long-standing sins and obstinacy 
in refusing to come before the Elders and " Antient" 
brethren in private. Robert Spur, sen r, was one of 
them. He had withdrawn from the sacrament, it 
appears upon some prejudice against the Pastor. 
He endeavored to make out his case, but, according 
to the record, " could not make it out but a misre 
presentation of him." He did not give satisfaction at 
this time, and was afterwards called and admonished. 
John Spur, son of the above, was also called to give 
satisfaction for his " contemptuous carriage," &c. ; 
also Nath l Wyat for not coming before the Elders, 
but refusing as Spur had done. Samuel Rigby had 
his short-comings to answer for. " Others there 
were that should have been called forth, as Joshua 
George, Daniel Ellen, Nathaniel Mather, and others; 


but the time and season of cold would not permit." 
These persons assembled at one o clock on the 22nd 
of January, in a cold meeting-house, to settle these 
weighty matters ; and it is not strange that " the 
season of cold " put a stop to further proceedings 
than those already mentioned. The next month, 
Robert Spur, sen r, was admonished; and Nath l 
Wyat, John Spur, Daniel Ellen and Joshua George, 
for neglecting and refusing to give an account of 
their knowledge to the Elders and the Church, were 

Mr. Thacher preached for Mr. Flint one month of 
this year, and Mr. Flint desired that the Church 
would look out for some one to take his place in 
case any of his family should have the small-pox ; 
also that they might think of another teaching offi 
cer to help him. The Church seemed to think that 
they could not afford to pay two ministers ; and 
therefore Mr. Flint s salary was augmented, and they 
thought that Mr. James Minot might be obtained to 
assist him once in a fortnight. Thus in the fear of 
wars and rumors of wars, the dread of the Indians 
and of the small-pox, and a great variety of other 
troubles, was the truth of Cotton Mather s saying 
verified, that "great numbers merely took New 
England on their way to heaven." 

1680. Selectmen John Capen, James Blake, 
Wm. Sumner, Richard Hall and Samuel Clap. 

Nathan Bradley was sexton for the town. He 
was to " ring the bell, cleanse the meeting-house, 
and to carry water for baptism." Thus were his 
duties well defined ; the taking charge of the boys 


appears to have been another branch of business, 
until perhaps about the year 1800. While the bell 
stood on the hill, Mr. Bradley was to have " after 
four pounds a year ; and after the bell is brought to 
the meeting-house, 3 10s." 

In February, of this year, a warrant was sent to the 
constables to take a fine of John Jackson for " four 
weeks entertainment of Opportunity Lane, his daugh 
ter," and to warn her out of town. Jane Burge s 
legacy of five pounds was paid by John Mason in 
shoes, the recipients of this bounty being Henry 
Merrifield, Daniel Elder, Robert Stiles, Thomas Pope, 
Samuel Hill, Meriam Wood, John Plum, Robert 
Sanders, Francis Ball, Nathan Bradley, John Lewis, 
Giles Burge, Widow Lawrence, Wm. Turner, Ed 
mund Brown, Joseph Weeks. 

The town this year had thirteen tything men. 

For many years there were quite a number of 
persons who could not pay their taxes. These were 
called " desperate debts." In the payments of ex 
penses is 3s. 9d. for boards, and 5s. for making a 
coffin for " Horsley." 

This year the town chose Mr. Mather, Richard 
Baker and Isaac Jones, " to see that the Burying 
place be fenced in with stone wall by the last of 

The town voted to pay Mr. James Minot twenty 
pounds, if he could be procured to preach once a 
fortnight. "John Breck desired liberty to get a 
suit of masts and yards for a vessel which he had 
undertaken to build in this town." 

The County Court desired the Selectmen to nomi- 


ii ate some person to keep a house of public enter 
tainment, and they nominated Richard Withington, 
Ensign Hall and Isaac Jones for that purpose. But 
neither of them would consent, so that they desired 
the Court to let widow George continue the business ; 
and William Sumner, one of the Selectmen, agreed 
to oversee it as much as he could, 

Among the expenses of the town this year, was 
" a load of wood for the watch." 

On the 16th of September, of this year, Rev. Mr. 
flint, the Pastor of the Church, died. He was the 
son of Rev. Henry Flint, of Braintree ; was born 
Aug. 24, 1645, and graduated at Harvard College 
in 1664. He appears to have been a conscientious 
and devoted minister ; but by the interruptions in 
his ministry, is supposed to have suffered considerably 
from ill health. He was zealous in his labors among 
the younger part of his flock, and it would appear, 
from the epitaph on his tombstone, that he exhaust 
ed his strength in his profession. His first ministe 
rial labor after his ordination was to officiate at the 
funeral of the venerable George Minot. The follow 
ing inscription is on the monument erected to Mr. 
Flint s memory. 

" Here lies Interred y e Corps of Mr. Josiah Flint, late Pastor to 

y* Church in Dorchester, Aged 35 years. 

Deceased Septr. 15th, 1680. 

A Man of God he was so great, so good, 
His highest worth was hardly understood : 
So much of God &; Christ in him did Dwell, 
In Grace & Holiness he did excell. 
An Honour & an ornament thereby, 
Both to y e Churches & the Ministry. 


Most zealous in y e work of Reformation, 
To save this self destroying Generation. 
With Courage Stroue gainst all this peoples sin ; 
He spent his Strength, his Life, his Soul therein. 
Consum d with holy zeal of God, for whom 
He liu d, and dy d a kind of Martyrdom. 
If men will not lament, their Hearts not break, 
No wonder this lamenting Stone doth Speak. 
His Tomb-stone cries Repent, and Souls to saue 
Doth Preach Repentance from his very Graue. 
Gainst Sinners doth a lasting Record lye 
This Monument to his bless d Memory. 
Psal. 112. 6. Prov. 10. 7." 

This year a case of witchcraft came before the 
Court, and was the occasion of great excitement. 
The person apprehended was Elizabeth, wife of Win. 
Morse, of Newbury. She was tried at Boston, and 
adjudged guilty by the jury, though subsequently 
reprieved. John Capen and Jacob Hewins, of Dor 
chester, were on this jury. 

1681. Selectmen James Blake, Samuel Clap, 
Wm. Sumner, John Capen and Richard Hall. 

Feb. 14th, of this year, Daniel Preston, senior, as 
signed over " the deeds of the land he bought of Sam 
uel Rigbee for the use of the school, being the legacy 
of Christopher Gibson." This was the gift which 
gave the town the School Pasture, so called, and 
which has proved so valuable to the town, as will be 
seen by referring to the 53d page of this work. 

The town this year gave liberty to Thomas Swift, 
senior, of Milton, and Ezra Clap of Dorchester, " to 
catch fish at Neponset below the mill, and to make 
a stage for this year, provided they do not any way 


obstruct or hinder the antient cart way over the river, 
which lies between the mill and the timber bridge, 
nor the way leading to the mill between the river 
and the barn that now is there on the upland." 

Joseph Weeks requested liberty of the Selectmen 
to take a nurse child of one Mr. Stevens, of Boston. 
They answered, that although " the man may be 
sufficient," yet lest it might be made a precedent, he 
was required to give some security. 

June 14th, Wm. Sumner and Deacon Blake were 
appointed to inquire after a school-master. It ap 
pears that this useful class of citizens were scarce 
at that time, at least the gentlemen here named did 
not meet with success in their inquiries ; for on 
Sept. 19th, " Ensign Hall was desired and appointed 
to inquire after a school-master. Some say there 
may be one at Bridge water." 

March 20th, of this year, the Church members 
were requested to remain after the evening exercises, 
to make choice of some person to be on trial for the 
" work of the ministry." It was usual at that time, 
and for many subsequent years, for the Church first 
to make choice of a minister, which choice was after 
wards to be confirmed by the town, or parish, as the 
case might be. It was voted, in this instance, "that 
each one should bring in his vote in writing, and 
those two that had the most votes should be put to 
vote again the next sabbath." The votes stood 40 
for Mr. John Danforth, of Roxbury, and 13 for Mr. 
Gushing, of Hingham. The 27th of March, "votes 
were called for again for one of the two which had most 
votes the last sabbath, and there were 37 votes for 


Mr. Danforth and 22 for Mr. Capen ; at the same 
time Mr. John Breck, who was not in full commu 
nion, intruded himself in, and put in a vote, which 
was very offensive to the Church ; but his vote was 
taken out and he commanded by Mr. Stoughton to 
go out of the meeting-house, when the Church had 
been tried by a vote to know whether they did ap 
prove of his acting ; which being declared in the 
negative, then the contrary vote was called for, but 
none held up their hand but only Henry Leadbetter, 
who thought that such as had submitted to the gov 
ernment of the Church should have liberty to vote 
in such a case ; but it was declared to the contrary." 

The Mr. Capen here voted for, was Mr. Joseph, 
son of John Capen, and was afterwards settled at 

Mr. Breck repented of voting as he did on the oc 
casion mentioned, and gave full satisfaction therefor. 

The Church appointed a committee of Mr. Stough 
ton and eight others to invite Mr. Danforth to come 
and preach upon trial. 

The 1st of June, of this year, Mr. Peter Thacher 
was ordained Pastor of the Church at Milton. The 
services were performed as follows. First, Mr. 
Thacher prayed. Rev. Increase Mather put the 
matters to vote whether any person had aught against 
it, &c. Mr. Torrey gave the charge. Mr. Torrey, 
Mr. Mather, Mr. Eliot and Mr. Willard laid on 
hands, and Mr. Willard gave the right hand of fel 

Calls were often made upon the congregation to 
aid their suffering friends, who had lost by the wars, 


were carried into captivity, &c. The 14th of Au 
gust, of this year, there was a contribution for Mr. 
Swan and others at Roxbury, who had their houses 
burnt. Upwards of 6 was collected. 

Dec. 25th, of this year, Rev. Mr. Danforth gave 
his answer of acceptance of the call to be the minis 
ter of the town. 

The town lost, this year, one of its jewels, in the 
person of John Foster. He was son of Hopestill 
Foster, and graduated at Harvard College in 1667. 
Shaw, in his description of Boston, says he opened 
the first printing-house in Boston, which was about 

1675. The first book he published was issued in 

1676, and the last in 1680. He was a great mathe 
matician, and made, calculated and published Alma 
nacs. In the Almanac for 1681, " he annexed an 
ingenious dissertation on comets seen at Boston in 
November and December, 1680." It is not so much 
to be wondered at that the people were astonished 
and affrighted at the comet of that time, if the ac 
count of a late writer be true, which says its trail 
reached from near the horizon to the zenith. There 
was a printing press in Cambridge, in the vicinity 
of the College, in 1638. 

Mr. Foster, in his will, desired to have a handsome 
grave-stone. There is a curious device upon it, to 
represent his skill in Astronomy, &c., and also upon 
it the following inscription. 


Mathematician and Printer Mr. John Foster 

aged 33 years, died Sept. 9, 1681. 

April 1682. 


[ M. 

"J. F. "Astra Colis Wens, Moriens supsr JSthera Foster, 
Scande precor; Coelum Metiri disce supremum : 
Metior atque meum est Emit mihi divis Jesus : 
Nee teneor Qui ;q-iarn nisi Gratis solvere." 

Upon the foot stone is the following: 

"Ars illi sua Census Erat." OVID. 
" Skill was his cash." 

In Thomas s History of Printing, this is translated 
as follows : 

" Thou, O Foster, who on earth didst study the heavenly bodies, 
now ascend above the firmament and survey the highest heaven. 
1 do survey and inhabit this divine region. To its possession I 
am admitted through the grace of Jesus ; and to pay the debt of 
gratitude I hold the most sacred obligation." 

Mr. Joseph Capen, the minister of Topsfield, who 
was the friend- and townsman of Mr. Foster, wrote 
the following poem upon his death. 

" Thy body, which no activeness didst lack, 

Now s laid aside like an old Almanack ; 

But for the present only s out of date, 

Twill have at length a far more active state. 

Yea, tho with dust thy body soiled be, 

Yet at the resurrection we shall see 

A fair EDITION, and of matchless worth, 

Free from ERRATA S, new in Heaven set forth. 

Tis but a word from God the Great Creator, 

It shall be done when he saith Imprimatur." 

1682. Selectmen James Blake, Enoch Wiswell, 
Samuel Clap, Timothy Tiles tone and Richard Hall. 

This year the town provided standard weights, by 
which to prove and seal all other weights in town. 
This is probably the first year that the law, requir- 


ing such a provision, was carried into effect. The 
weights were, from 56 pounds to 1-16 of an ounce. 

Sept. llth. " Wm. Danforth was called "before the 
Selectmen, and was admonished by them to forbear 
frequenting ordinaries, and to set himself in a way 
of constant employment in some lawful calling:" 

This year the Selectmen approbated widow Eliza 
beth George to keep an ordinary again, provided 
that John Breck should see that it was kept accord 
ing to law. Her husband had kept one many years, 
and since his death she had continued the business, 
and was undoubtedly the most capable of the two 
for that purpose. Mrs. George was now about 81 
years of age. Old age was no disqualification then 
for office or employment. 

The 19th of February Mr. John Danforth joined 
the Church here, having been dismissed from the 
Church in Roxbury for that purpose. He was or 
dained on Wednesday, the 2d of June. The Churches 
sent to were those in Boston, Roxbury, Dedham, 
Milton, Braintree, Weymouth and Medfield. Mr. 
Eliot was desired to give the charge. The sermon 
on the occasion was from the text, 2 Kings i. 14 : 
" Where is the Lord God of Elijah r 

The Church, about this time, appears to have 
taken a fresh start in the way of discipline, and de 
linquents were sharply reproved. Joseph Leeds had 
a misunderstanding with his wife, and was accused 
of maltreating her, which caused no little trouble to 
the Church. After several meetings, it was settled 
by his confession, and promising " to carry it more 
loving to her for time to come." Not so with Jona- 


than Blackmail ; he had been lying, which was a 
serious offence in those days, and also convicted 
before the Court for stealing horses. He had suf 
fered corporal punishment, but refused to come 
before the Church, and ran away out of the jurisdic 
tion ; so they " disowned him from his Church 
relation, and excommunicated, though not delivered 
up to Satan, as those in full communion, but yet to 
be looked at as a Heathen and publican, and familiar 
society with him forbidden unto his relations natural 
and civil, that he may be ashamed." 

Eev. Mr. Danforth was paid this year, for his 
services in the ministry, 50 in money and 50 in 
country pay. 

Mr. Stoughton was again chosen to go as messen- J- 
ger to England ; but the great trouble of his late 
mission caused him to peremptorily decline the ap 

1683. Selectmen Richard Hall, Samuel Clap, 
James Blake, Enoch Wiswell and Timothy Tilestone. 

The town voted to make a rate of 100 for a 
" house for the ministry." 

" John Minot came forth voluntarily and acknow- -4- 
ledged to his sin in being too much overcome with 
drinking on the day of Major Clark s funeral." This 
was before the Church, at a meeting on the 29th of 

There was a contribution, July 29th, "for Captives 
in Mr. Graves s ship, and one Robinson." 12 10s. 
lOdL was collected, to be divided between them. 
This amount shows a very great degree of liberality 
for that time. 


About this time there was a great excitement in 
the colony, through fear of losing the royal Charter. 
The General Court appointed a Fast to be held, on 
the 22d of November, " in regard of the sad condi 
tion we were in respecting the danger of losing our 
liberties, both civil and sacred, our Charter being 
called for." 

The 30th of December " there was a contribution 
for a captive, viz., the son of a woman living at 
Piscataqua ; at which time there were contributed 
19 s Id, and committed to Elder Humfrey to 
deliver to the woman." 

In December, of this year, the town chose " the 
worshipful Mr. S tough ton, Enoch Wiswell and John 
Breck," to see to the laying out of the land granted 
by the General Court for school land, in lieu of 
Thompson s Island. 

1684. Selectmen Samuel Clap, Richard Hall, 
James Blake, Enoch Wiswell and Win. Sumner. 

This year the town lost two of its citizens who 
were much respected viz., Timothy,* son of Rev. 
Richard Mather, who died January 14th, by a fall 
from a scaffold in a barn ; and Nehemiah, son of 
Dea. Edward Clap. 

The Church, this year, had Consider Atherton 
before them, for the sin of drunkenness. He made 
an acknowledgment in writing, which was deemed 
satisfactory. John Weeks was also brought up for 
stealing a cheese from the ordinary, and Ebenezer 
Lyon for some words spoken by him, and which he 

* Although Blake says Jan. 14th, 1684, it is probable he reckoned in 
the old style, which would bring it, according lo the new style, iu 1685. 


confessed in writing, and then denied a part of the 
writing. " Sister George was called again before the 
Church, who at this time made confession of her sin 
in letting some have drink, which made them drunk, 
and of her denying it, and of toer going from the 
Church in such a disorderly manner." It will be 
recollected that Mrs. George was at this time about 
83 years of age. 

Sept. 23th there was a contribution for Moses 
Ayers, being a captive, amounting to 6 2s 8./, 
which was delivered to Thomas Tilestone, who, to 
gether with Thomas Pierce, were to convey it into 
safe hands for his redemption. It appearing that 
the son of widow Hobinson, for whose release from 
captivity there had previously been a contribution, 
was redeemed without making use of the money, 
and as there had been a promise that if it was not 
used it should be returned, it was voted to call for it 
and add it to the sum raised for Mr. Ayers, if neces 

About this time Mr. Robert Breck, son of Edward 
Breck, of this town, died in Boston. He was a 
merchant, and a man of some note. Drake, in his 
History of Boston, quotes the description of his wife 
given by John Dunton, who came to Boston and 
remained a year or more, and who was a quaint and 
agreeable writer. He calls " Mrs. Brick " a woman 
of " piety and sweetness," and the very " flower of 
Boston." " To conclude her character ; the beauty 
of her person, the sweetness and affability of her 
temper, the gravity of her carriage, and her exalted 
piety, gave me so just a value for her, that Mrs. 


Green would often say, should Iris die (the name 
Mr. Dunton gave his wife), which Heaven forbid, 
there is not fit to succeed her but Madam Brick. 

1685. Selectmen Samuel Clap, James Blake, 
Enoch Wiswell, Tiichard Hall and John Breck. 

The 12th of March there was a contribution, and 
1 13s 9d collected and put in the hands of the 
Deacons to be used at their discretion. 

The 18th of March, Wednesday, the Church be 
gan to have a monthly lecture. 

16 The 5th of April was a contribution for a boy 
that had the stone, at which time were contributed 
1 Is Id, and a piece of Spanish money 7 l-2d." 

June 4th. " There was a contribution for George 
Bo wen, of Roxbury, who is a captive with the Turks, 
at which time were collected 2 145." 

June 28th, there was a contribution for the poor, 
and but 14s 4d collected, because " notice of it was 
not given before." 

Aug. 9th. ut There was a contribution for one Tuck 
er, of Boston, a captive, at which time were collected 
3 Is 6d." This was delivered to Tucker s wife. 

Nov. 8th. " There was a contribution for Peter 
Talbot, at which time were contributed 405 lOd." 

Nov. 15th. " There was a contribution for Francis 
Ball, at which time were collected 33s lOd, and 2 
half bushels of corn." 

These frequent instances of taking up money from 
the congregation on the sabbath are named, to show 
what a constant call there was for charitable assis 
tance in those days, besides the heavy taxes laid 
to pay for fighting the Indians, supporting the min 
istry and the schools, &c. 


The Church appointed their Pastor (Mr. Ban- 
forth), Mr. Stoughton, and Deacons Capen and 
Blake, to go to Boston to attend the ordination of 
Rev. Cotton Mather, April 13th. 

An order was issued this year from the Governor 
and Council, requiring the Ministers and Elders to 
look to their flocks ; " and the Elder proposed that 
two of the tything-men s squadrons at a time ap 
pointed should come together to some place for that 
end, and that those from 8 to 16 years of age be 
Catechized, and from 16 to 24 of young persons 
should come together to be discoursed, with all the 
maids by themselves, and the men by themselves." 

This year James II. was proclaimed King, which 
awakened the fears of all the lovers and friends of 
New England. They knew his character too well 
to expect any favors from him or any of his infamous 
advisers, especially after the appointment of the no 
torious and cruel Percy Kirke as Governor. This 
occasioned much trouble to all the Colonists ; but 
their great shrewdness and skill in diplomacy ena 
bled them in a measure to steer clear of the evils 
which threatened them. 

1686. Selectmen Samuel Clap, Richard Hall, 
Win. Sumner, John Withington and John Breck. 

This year the town met with a serious loss in the 
death of Elder James Humfrey. The 14th of Feb 
ruary, of this year, he " moved the Church that they 
would look out and provide themselves another 
Elder, because he had long been lame, and did look 
at himself near his departure out of this world." 
He also desired that he might be buried in the same 


tomb with Rev. Richard Mather, his early friend 
and Pastor ; but it being stoned up, and so small as 
to hold only one coffin, his request could not be 
complied with, and he was buried near him. The 
tomb stone to his memory is now in good order, 
having been repaired by his grandson, Mr. Jonas 
Humfrey. The inscription thereon is as follows : 

Here lyes Interred y e Body of Mr. James Humfrey, one of y e 

Ruling Elders of Dorchester, who departed this life 

May 12th, 1686, in y e 78th year of his age. 

I nclos d within this shrine is precious Dust 

A nd only waits for th rising of y a Just. 

Most usefull while he liu d, adorn d his Station, } 

E uen to old age he Seru d his Generation, 

S ince his Decease tho t of with Veneration. ) 

H ow great a Blessing this Ruling Elder he 
U nto this Church & Town : & Pastors Three. 
M ather he first did by him help Receiue ; 
F lint did he next his burden much Relieue ; 
R enowned Danforth he did assist with skill. 
E steemed high by all : Bear fruit untill 
Y ielding to Death his Glorious seat did fill. 

Deacon James Blake was chosen Ruling Elder in 
place of Elder Humfrey. He excused himself on 
account of his " thickness of hearing," but was finally 
prevailed upon to accept. Daniel Preston, senior, 
was chosen to fill the place of Deacon, vacated by 
Mr. Blake ; he had 41 votes to 11 for others. 

The people of Boston and some other places suf 
fered from the small pox this year. The Church of 
Dorchester held a fast on the 30th of June, on that 
account, and " in regard of the great want of rain." 

On the llth of October " Mr. Nathaniel Glover 
did voluntarily acknowledge his sin in being at 


Brainard s and overtaken in drink." It is supposed 
that Mr. Glover was a man of good reputation, and 
a misdemeanor of this kind, when acknowledged 
before the proper authority, was not of course consi 
dered so grievous a sin as if concealed or denied. 

1687. Selectmen Samuel Clap, Timothy Tiles- 
tone, Richard Hall, Win. Sumner and Henry Lead- 

November 23d, of this year, Mr. John Douse, of 
Chaiiestown, was drowned at Neponset River, and 
his body was found the 19th of the following March 
on Thompson s Island shore. 

Sir Edmond Andros being in power this year, the 
town chose no Representative to the General Court. 

Major Thomas Clark, in his will, having left a 
legacy of 20 for the poor of Dorchester, " Serg t 
Timothy Tilestone was ordered to enquire into the 
condition of several poor, and to let them have some 
relief." Major Clark, it will be remembered, died 
in Boston, but had previously lived in this town. 

1688. Selectmen John Breck, Samuel Clap, 
Timothy Tilestone, Henry Leadbetter, Samuel Robin 
son and John Withington. 

There is no doubt that the people were discontent 
ed under the new government of Sir Edmond An 
dros, and did not engage with their usual alacrity in 
the orders of the Governor and his Council. This 
is made manifest by the following notice, which 
appears on the Church Records. "The 3d of May 
there was a Fast in our town, it is said a public 
Fast, but few towns had notice of it- nor had we, 
but by Mr. Stoughton s informing that the Council I 


had determined. There was none at lloxbury, nor 
Cambridge, nor Watertown, nor at Boston but in 
the First Church. The Sabbath before, they say, 
was appointed Thanksgiving for the Queen s being 
with child ; our Sabbath was kept as at other times, 
being sacrament day." 

The Church had a great deal of trouble with 
Consider Atherton, this year, and finally pronounced 
him an incorrigible drunkard and admonished him. 

1689. Selectmen Samuel Clap, Timothy Tiles- 
tone, John Withington, Henry Leadbetter and 
Richard Hall. 

The 21st of July there was a fast kept "in regard 
of the Indians plotting mischief," &c. 

The 16th of November there was a contribution 
for Goodman Hinsdale, of Medfield ; and on Dec. 8th 
there was one for the poor of the town. 

From the " History of Boston " we learn that in 
the latter part of this year a company of pirates who 
had robbed a Salem vessel were captured, and 
brought to trial at Boston, making another exciting 
subject for the time. On the Grand Jury are found 
the Dorchester names Bernard Trott, foreman, and 
John Capen ; and on the trial jury, James Bird and 
Joseph Weeks. One Thomas Hawkins, of Boston, 
was the leader of the piratical crew, and he and 
nine others were brought in guilty, and sentenced to 
be hung on the 27th of January following. 

1690. Selectmen Sam l Clap, Timothy Tilestone, 
Hopestill Clap, Henry Leadbetter and James Foster. 

The compensation paid to the Representatives to 
the General Court would be considered very low at 


this time. March llth, "it was proposed to the 
town what they would allow their representatives 
or deputies, Timothy Tilestone and Samuel Clap, for 
their attendance at the General Court this year; and 
it was voted that they would allow them six shil 
lings a week." 

The same day the town chose Elder James Blake, 
John Breck and Samuel Clap, to seat the people 
in the meeting-house. 

Feb. 12th. There was a contribution "for the 
widow Pease, whose husband was slain in taking the 
pirates who did do mischief to the vessels on the 

There were quite a number of fasts kept this year, 
on account of " our agents that are gone to England," 
the troubles with the French and Indians, the sick 
ness of fever and small-pox, " in regard to the fleet 
that has gone against the French at Canada," &c. 

This year a large company of soldiers was raised 
in this town, to embark in the expedition to Canada. 
Forty-six of the company never returned, most of 
them supposed to have been lost at sea. It has been 
doubted whether so great a number could have been 
raised in so small a town ; but the company roll is 
satisfactory evidence of the fact. It furnishes another 
instance of the great hardship endured by the colo 
ny in supplying soldiers, and paying the enormous 
tax thereby incurred. Like most of the armies which 
preceded or have followed it, the fate of this one was 
disastrous ; death by sickness and accidents sweeping 
away most of those who had escaped the sword. 
The following is the list of the company. 




11 A list of the names of the soldiers under the command of 
Capt. John Withington, Oct. 3, 1690. 

Capt. Job. Withington Sargt. Ammiel Weeks Corp. John Poope 
V Left. George Minott Sargt. Richard Butt Corp. Joseph Curtis 
Insine Samuel Sumner Sargt. Samuel Sumner Corp. George Holmes 

Sargt. Increase Modsley 
Joseph Weeks, Clarke. Joseph Trescott, Drummer. 

Ebenezer Sumner 
Henry Lyon 
Eliab Lyon 
Unight Modsley 
William Cheney 
Peter Galley 
Ebenezer Poope 
William Sumner 
Eleazer Walles 
William Cooke 
Joseph Long 
Thomas Weeks 
Thomas Andrews 
William Sumner 
Samuel Sandras 
Edward Wiatte 
Benieman Hewens 
James Swift 
Hopstill Sandras 
Solomon Clarke 
John Lord 
Consider Atherton 
Jezeniah Sumner 

Adam Barr These on bord Capt. B-y 
James Robinson Corp. Daniell Hensha 
Cornelius Tilestone William Blake 

Richard Euins 
Samuel Hicks 
John Tolman 
John Jones 
Ebenezer Crane 
Samuel Chandler 
William Fowst 
William Belshar 
David Stevenson 
Henry Jackson 
Thomas Bird 

John Gulliver 
William George 
Joseph Atherton 
Samuel Triscott 
Thomas Kelton 
John Morrill 
James Morey 
Edward Clap 
Jehosephat Crabtree 
John Briant 
Robart Husay 

Augusten Clements Charles Readman 

William Swift 
Moses Chaplin 
Joshua Shoot 
John Anderson 
John Leeds 
Isaac Caps 
John Crowhore 

William Baker 
Mathew Mapley 
John Jones 
Elias Moonke 

This list was found among the papers left by 
Ebenezer Clap, son of Nathaniel, who was one of 
the active citizens of the town about the time the 
company was raised. It is presumed that the fate 
of many of those who never returned was for a long 


time doubtful ; as, twenty years after the expedition 
left Dorchester, Ezra Clap, of Milton, made provision 
in his will for his son Edward if he ever returned. 
June 19th, 1735, the General Court of Massachu 
setts granted to the survivors of that expedition, and 
to the heirs of those who were lost, a township of 
land in the northern part of Worcester County, 
which was called Dorchester Canada. This was 
incorporated into a town in the year 1765, and called 
Ashburnham. The rights to these lands were sold 
from time to time. Hezekiah Barbour, of Dorches 
ter, purchased a number of them ; also Thomas 

On the 2d of February, this year, died in Boston, 
whither he removed from Dorchester in 1686, Capt. 
Roger Clap, in his 82d year for more than twenty 
years commander of the Castle, which was " the prin 
cipal fortress in the province." As already men 
tioned, Roger Clap was one of the party which 
arrived at Dorchester in the " Mary and John," 
in 1630 ; and from that time till he resigned his 
post at the Castle in 1686, he was almost constantly 
engaged in the civil, military, and ecclesiastical affairs 
of the town and colony. Blake says, " He was buried 
in the old Burying Place in Boston ; the Military 
Officers going before the Corps ; and next to the 
Relations, the Governour and the whole General 
Court following after ; and the Guns firing at the 
Castle at the same time." 

1691. Selectmen Samuel Clap, Henry Lead- 
better, Timothy Tilestone, Hopestill Clap and Sam 
uel Topliff. 


The number of deaths in town this year was very 
large, probably larger in proportion to the number 
of inhabitants than in any previous year since its 
settlement. James Blake, who kept a memorandum 
of these matters, says " that from y e 1st of April, 
1690, unto y e last of July, 1691, that is one year and 
four months, there died in Dorchester 57 persons, 33 
of them of y e small pox, the Rest of a Feaver; the 
most of them of middle age. About y e same time 
(that is 1690) lost at sea 46 soldiers that went to 
Canada ; in all 103." 

This year the General Court ordered the sum of 
twenty-four thousand pounds to be levied on the 
inhabitants, and the proportion for this town w r as 
701 Ils2d. 

The Church held a fast on the 1st of May, on 
account of the more than ordinary sickness of small 
pox. The language of the appointment of this fast 
represents that God was provoked with his people, 
and that his hand had gone out against them. 

The 22d of April Rev. Mr. Danforth, the two 
Deacons, and Capt. Clap, went to Weymouth, being 
called by the Church there to assist in settling some 
difficulty between the Church and one of its mem 
bers. After much discussion the man was convinced 
of his sin, made confession, and all were satisfied at 
the happy termination. 

1692. Until this year, the Selectmen had been 
chosen annually in December ; but those chosen in 
December, 1691, served until March, 1693. 

This year the town lost one of its most valuable 
citizens, both in regard to his character and useful 
ness, by the death of Capt. John Capen. 


The town voted " that all such soldiers of Dor 
chester as served at the Castle after the Bevolution, 
^April 1689, till the garrison was settled in June 
following, should all of them that are not already 
paid, be paid out of the next town rate." 

The old Latin Dictionary, which is still in exist 
ence, and which contains the names of so many of 
the teachers who have kept the school on the Meet- 
ing-House Hill, is thus noticed : 

" The 3d of May, 92, Samuel Clap, Samuel Top- 
liff and Hopestill Clap, Selectmen, received of Mr. 
Joseph Capen, a latin Look (a dictionary) which 
doth belong to the town, and delivered said book to 
Mr. Joseph Lord, schoolmaster, to be improved for 
the benefit of the school ; and s d Lord is to deliver 
it to some of the Selectmen when he leaves the 
school in Dorchester." 

Feb. 14th, there was a contribution for the cap 
tives taken by the Indians, from York, and 18 18s 
Id was obtained. 

The community were much distressed on account 
of the earthquake at Jamaica, news of which was 
brought to Boston by some who narrowly escaped. 
One of our Dorchester people, Ralph Houghton, Jr., 
was buried in the ruins, as we learn by the following 
memoranda found pinned to the cover of an old 
manuscript; viz., "In 1692 Mrs Mary Horton, 
widow to Mr. Ralph Horton, huo was sunke in y e 
earthquake at Jemeco the seventh day of June be- 
twen a Eleven & twelve a clock at nune in 1692. 
Y e above named person was then 28 years of age 
from March y e last past." 


1693. Selectmen Enoch Wiswell, Samuel Robin 
son, John Tolman, James Bird and Increase Summer. 

This year the town voted that the burying place 
should be fenced with stone wall. 

July 20th, of this year, was kept as a public day 
of humiliation on account of " the abominable sins 
that did break out among us, and for the preventing 
of great sickness " " by reason of the West India 
fleet that was now come hither, which brought the 
sickness with them " " and to put a stop to our 
Enemy s rage." 

The Church chose the Pastor and four delegates 
to go to Dedham, on the 29th of November, to assist 
at the ordination of Mr. Joseph Belcher. " Mr. 
Belcher did begin by prayer, and preaching, and did 
make a very excellent sermon. His text was in the 
4 of Exodus, 11, 12." "Mr. Torrey, Mr. Hubbard 
and Mr. Danforth laid their hands upon his head, 
and Mr. Fiske gave him the right hand of fellow 

1694. Selectmen John Tolman, John Bird, 
James Foster, James White and Samuel Capen. 

Mr. Thomas Tilestone died this year, June 24th, 
at the age of 83 years. He was one of the leading 
men of the town, and is supposed to have been the 
ancestor of all of his name in the country. 

This year the town built another school-house on 
the meeting-house hill, at the cost of 22 ; John 
Trescott was the carpenter. 

January 28th, there was a contribution for Perez 
Savage and Thomas Thacher, who were in captivity in 
Turkey. 6 Ws Wd was collected. 


June 17th, there was a contribution for Robert 
Carew. who was in slavery, and 4 19$ collected. 

October 7th, the Church appointed the Church 
officers, with Nathaniel Clap and James White, to 
go to Woodstock to attend the ordination of Mr. 
Josiah D wight. The ordination was on Oct. 31st. 

1695. Selectmen John Tolman, James Foster, 
John Bird, James White and Samuel Capen. 

The oldest person, probably, that ever lived in 
town, died this year Mrs. Ann Pierce, widow of 
Mr. Robert Pierce being about 104 years of age. 

The town chose a committee to procure an en 
largement of the burying ground. 

"Aug. 11, 95, was a great contribution in many 
churches for some persons that were in slavery among 
the Turks ; and in our congregation were given 9 
6s 9d." 


Settlement of Dorchester, in South Carolina, and of Midway, in Georgia. 

OCTOBER 22, 1695, was the usual lecture day in this 
town, but was set apart for the purpose of ordaining 
Rev. Joseph Lord in the ministry, to go to South 
Carolina. There were messengers from the Churches 
in Roxbury, Nonantum, Boston, Milton and Charles- 
town. Mr. Lord first prayed, then preached a sermon 
from 5th of Matthew 13th verse. Mr. Morton, of 
Charlestown, gave the charge, and Mr. Hobart the 
right hand of fellowship. Those who entered into 


church covenant with Mr. Lord, were Joshua Brooks 
and Nathaniel Billings, of Concord ; William Norman, 
of Carolina ; William Adams, of Sudbury ; Increase 
Sumner and William Pratt, of Dorchester ; George 
Fox, of Reading ; and Simon Dakin, of Concord. 
It is probable that Nathaniel Billings was a relative 
of the individuals of that name in this town, and it 
is not unlikely that Mr. Norman came on from Caro 
lina for the purpose of encouraging this early mis 
sionary enterprise. Rev. John Danforth preached 
to this company upon parting, and their friends 
accompanied them to the place of embarkation, 
where they took leave of each other, " after kneeling 
down and mingling their supplications " to God, 
" with every expression of Christian tenderness." 

Their journey and settlement were beautifully 
described by Professor John B. Mallard, in a Cen 
tennial Address delivered before the people of Mid 
way, Georgia, on December 6, 1852, but not pub 
lished. He says, " The Macedonian cry of the pious 
in Carolina was heard in New England, and the 
religious sentiment of the Dorchester settlers was 
awakened. They had planted the first Church in 
Connecticut, and now they were ready to gather 
another to send to the far distant borders of the 
south." " On the 5th of December the first mission 
aries that ever left the shores of New England, were 
offering up their evening prayers from the decks of 
two small vessels on the bosom of the Atlantic. 
What an interesting company did those two frail 
barks contain ! Infancy, not knowing whither it 
went ; youth, with all its joyousness ; middle age, 


with its conscious weight of responsibility ; the old 
and the young ; the strong and the weak ; the pro 
tector and the protected !" 

" Landing on the shores of Carolina they threaded 
their way to the Ashley river ; and twenty miles 
from the abode of civilized man in the midst of an 
unbroken forest where wild beasts prowled, they 
fixed their habitation ; and February 2, 1696, under 
the boughs of a weather-beaten oak (still standing 
and stretching its branches over the resting-places of 
the dead), they took the sacrament of the Lord s 
supper, renewed their vows and gave public thanks 
to that Being who had led them on in safety." This 
was the first sacrament ever celebrated in Carolina. 

These people called their new home Dorchester ? 
and soon erected a meeting-house, and established the 
Congregational order of church government, under 
which they flourished. Rev. Hugh Fisher succeeded 
Mr. Lord in the ministry there. The latter returned 
to Massachusetts, and was settled at Chatham. Rev. 
John Osgood followed Mr. Fisher, and was ordained 
in 1735. The increase of inhabitants made it ne 
cessary to occupy more land than could be found in 
their neighborhood to answer their wants. The 
unhealthiness of the place also tended to make them 
dissatisfied with their abode; and on May llth, 
1752, three persons from this settlement set off upon 
an exploring expedition, having heard of more favor 
able locations in the adjoining colony of Georgia. 
They returned and made a favorable report of the 
land they had found, and proposed a removal. 
The proposition was favorably received by a majority 


of their number ; but some were reluctant to part 
from the homes which had cost them so much toil, 
and had become endeared to them through the hard 
ships invariably connected with new settlements. 

On the 6th of December, 1752, Mr. Benjamin 
Baker and Mr. Samuel Bacon, with their families-, 
arrived at Midway, in Liberty County, Georgia. 
This place was called Midway, because it stood about 
half way between the rivers Altamaha and Ogechee- 
Mrs. Baker died the day after their arrival. Their 
minister, Rev. Mr. Osgood, finding a general desire 
among those who remained in Carolina to remove, 
accompanied them to Georgia, where the whole 
Church and society eventually settled. " The Secre 
tary of the Colony of Georgia, in a letter to Benjamin 
Marty n, in England, dated August 7th, 1755, sets 
down the number of those who removed from Caro 
lina to Georgia (in 1752), as 816 men, women and 
children." He also wrote in the highest terms of 
the character of these settlers, whose reputation had 
preceded them and had grown as they became better 
acquainted. He says, " I really look upon these 
people moving here, to be one of the most favorable 
circumstances that could befall the Colony." More 
than one hundred years have elapsed since their 
removal to Midway, and their descendants still re 
tain those traits of character which in their ancestors 
called forth the praise of the Secretary of the colony. 
They still adhere to the Congregational system of 
church government, and " the village church and 
the village school " have been and still are the glory 
of the place. 


This settlement has furnished Georgia with two 
governors ; two of its most distinguished judges ; 
the Theological Seminary of South Carolina and 
Georgia with an able professor ; the Methodist Epis 
copal Church with an influential and pious bishop ; 
the Presbyterian and Baptist Churches of that State 
with many of their ablest and most useful ministers ; 
and six of her sons have been called to professorial 
chairs in collegiate institutions. 

Their minister, Mr. Osgood, died in August, 1773, 
and different persons officiated for them until 1777, 
when Mr. Moses Allen, of Northampton, Mass., was 
settled. lie was taken prisoner by the British in 
1778, and confined several months in their prison 
ships. Being a true patriot, and wearied with con 
finement, he attempted to regain his liberty by throw 
ing himself into the river in order to swim to an 
adjacent point, but was drowned in the attempt. 
The enemy, under General Provost, burned the 
meeting-house and many of the buildings of the place. 
In 1785, Rev. Abiel Holmes (a well known antiqua 
rian, who died a few years since in Cambridge, Mass.), 
was settled with them in the ministry. Ill health 
made it necessary for him to relinquish his office in 
1 791. Rev. C. Gildersleeve, of New Jersey, succeeded 
him. Rev. Murdock Murphy, a native of North 
Carolina, followed. Rev. Robert Quarterman came 
next, and Rev. I. S. K. Axson was settled as his col 
league in 1836 ; but now, 1856, is President of 
Greensboro Female College. Their present pastors 
(1856) are Rev. D. L. Buttolph, of New York, and 
Rev. John F. Baker, of Pennsylvania. 


The patriotism of the people of Liberty County, 
during and previous to the Revolutionary war, was 
known throughout the country. They chose to take 
part with their brethren in the contest which they 
supposed would ensue, and not being able at first to 
bring the people of Georgia up to their standard, they 
joined the Continental Congress on their own account, 
and chose Dr. Lyman Hall to attend the same at 
Philadelphia, where he signed the Declaration of 
Independence. Soon after, four more delegates were 
sent from Georgia. Dr. Hall was a native of Con 
necticut, a graduate of Yale College, and in 1783 
was elected Governor of Georgia. 

Rev. Dr. Holmes remarked the great difference 
between these people and the natives of the place, 
and observed that they " differed as greatly from all 
surrounding inhabitants as did the Jews from the 
Canaanites." The late Rev. Dr. Codman, of Dor 
chester, visited this place a short time previous to 
1830, and was struck with the same peculiarity. 


Ecclesiastical Council at Medfield Religious Association of Young Men Land for 
Free Schools Death of Governor Stoughton Boundaries of the Town Town 
Orders, &c. 

1696. Selectmen Samuel Capen, James Foster, 
James White, John Bird and Dea. Topliff. 

Another aged and respectable citizen of the town 
died this year, viz., Thomas Trott, aged 82 years. 


Purchase Capen was accidentally killed by the firing 
of a gun, Sept. 9th. 

This year the town chose a committee to seat peo 
ple in the meeting-house. 

The 22d of February, a letter was read from the 
Church in Medfield, desiring messengers to assist in 
a Council to be held there. The proceedings of said 
Council were subsequently reported to the Church 
in Dorchester, and are written out quite fully on 
the Records. It is presumed that these Records, 
which were formerly kept by Elder John Wi swell, 
and afterwards by Capt. John Capen, were at this 
time in the hands of Rev. Mr. Danforth, as the re 
marks therein respecting this Council appear to have 
been written by him. It appears that out of 60 per 
sons in the town of Medfield, who were voters, " 50 
and odd " voted for Mr. Baxter, the minister, and 20 
or 21 out of 25 of the members of the Church ; yet 
the opposition were active. Their reasons for oppos 
ing the settlement of Mr. B., according to the report, 
were " some of them weak, silly and unreasonable, 
and some of them ungodly and pernicious." " One 
reason was that he was but a young man ; another 
that he had not so loud a voice as some others." The 
report contains certainly one democratic doctrine, viz., 
" The light of nature shows that the majority should 

The Church in Dorchester voted, this year, that 
the Elders should signify to the General Court, that 
they apprehended one tavern, besides Mr. Billings s 
and Mr. White s, to be enough for the town, and 
that none but persons of improved integrity be 


" Nov. 1st, 1696. Dea. Sumner s wife and family, 
and his brother Samuel Sumner with his wife and 
family, with Peter O Kelly s wife and six children, 
dismissed to the Church of Christ near Newington, 
in South Carolina " (called Dorchester). 

1697. Selectmen Samuel Clap, Deacon Topliff, 
Hopestill Clap, James Foster and Samuel Capen. 

The seating of people in the meeting-house was a 
difficult and serious affair. The committee chosen 
last year to perform this service, declined doing it 
again, unless the Selectmen would promise that they 
would accept of their seats appointed, " for order 
sake," and not put others out of their places. The 
town voted that the seats for boys should be removed, 
and seats made for them in the gallery ; also to make 
a pew for the Hon. Lieut. Governor and one for 
Rev. Mr. Danforth s family. 

March 21st, 22d and 23d, a council set at Water- 
town. Rev. Mr. Danforth, Lt. Tileston and Dea. 
Hopestill Clap, were members from Dorchester. 

In April the Church chose their Pastor, Ruling 
Elder, Capt. Clap and Deacon Topliff, to go to Med- 
field to assist at the ordination of Mr. Joseph Baxter, 
no public opposition being made, although the old 
quarrel was not entirely allayed. 

1698. Selectmen Capt. Clap, Dea. Clap, Dea- 
Topliff, Samuel Wales and Samuel Capen. 

This year was finished the laying out of the 12th 
division of land, in the new grant. 

The town voted that Rev. Mr. Danforth s salary 
should be paid by a free contribution. This plan 
was tried in 1697, and at the same time provision 


was made, that if the contribution did not amount to 
eighty-five pounds, it should be made up to that 
sum out of the town rate. 

The winter of 1697 98 was " very long, sore and 

The 25th of December of this year, several serious 
young men of the town joined themselves into an 
association for religious purposes, which was to con 
tinue until they formed family connections, or until 
they left the town. This society continued until 
about 1848, or 150 years from its formation. Simi 
lar associations were formed in the neighboring 
towns, but were generally short-lived. The meetings 
of the Dorchester society were held immediately after 
the public service on Sunday afternoons, and the 
exercises were principally prayer and reading. Rev. 
Dr. Harris preached a discourse, addressed to the 
members, one hundred years from its establishment, 
which was printed. The society had a true friend 
in the late Dr. James Baker, who presented them 
many valuable religious books. The remains of the 
library, also the constitution and the signatures 
thereto, are now in the keeping of the Dorchester 
Antiquarian and Historical Society. 

1699. Selectmen Dea. ToplifF, Dea. Clap, Sam 
uel Wales, James Foster and Daniel Preston. 

This year the town lost two of its aged citizens 
by death : viz., Sept. llth, Wm. Trescott, aged 84 
years and 8 months ; and, Nov. 8th, widow Elizabeth 
George, who so long kept the ordinary, aged 98 

The town chose a committee to lay out the 1000 



acres of land for the maintenance of a free school. 
" Some of our friends of Milton " requested the town 
to grant them 200 acres for the same purpose. "The 
town did seem to favour the matter, yet notwith 
standing did defer the affirmative grant thereof, until 
our own school land ahove mentioned be first laid 
out, and until the town of Milton have a school ap 
pearing to need the same/ 

Rev. Mr. Danforth was sick and imable to preach 
for several weeks this year. 

1700. Selectmen Capt. Clap, Daniel Preston, 
Charles Davenport, Samuel Wales and James Blake. 

Having given a list of the -Selectmen of the town, 
as they were annually chosen, up to this date, they 
will hereafter be omitted, as the space which their 
names would occupy may perhaps be better used for 
other purposes. The early settlers of this town, ii 
not the first, were among the first to organize a 
town government by choosing townsmen or select 
men. Their idea of Christian civilization was, that 
it seeks " to control and yet not to enslave, to leave 
free and yet not to abandon." 

Elder James Blake died June 28th, aged 77 years. 
He was a Deacon of the Church about 1 1 years, and 
Ruling Elder about 14 years. 

The committee chosen to lay out the school farm 
last year, were John Bird, Daniel Preston, Jr., and 
Charles Davenport. They reported, this year, that 
they had laid it out. It was near Plymouth Colony 
line, by the Bridgewater road, half way between 
Boston and Taunton, and bounded by Half-way 
brook, near Woodcock s well, the Rehoboth road, 


&c. It was composed of several different lots, which 
did not appear to join, but were in the same neigh 

1701. Dec. 22d, of this year, Richard Withing- 
ton, senior, died, aged about 84 years. 

The year was also an eventful one, in the death of . 
Lieut. Gov. William Stoughton, Commander in Chief 
of the Province. 

No history appears to have been written of this 
remarkable man ; for remarkable he was, and would 
have been in any age. It is lamentable that it has 
been left to this late day to furnish even a brief me 
morial of so eminent a scholar, civilian and divine. 
He was distinguished as a preacher, and was six 
times invited to settle over the church in this town, 
but for "reasons within himself" as often declined. 
His election sermon in 1668 was said to have been 
one of the most powerful and impressive that had 
been delivered before the General Court. 

In that discourse he highly eulogises the early 
settlers of the colony; and no one knew them better, 
he being one of the oldest of the first generation from 
that stock. He says, " They were worthies, men of 
singular accomplishments, and of long and great 
experience. Yet did they walk with fear and trem 
bling before the Lord, in the sense of their own 
nothingness and insufficiency for the work here to 
be done. O what were the open professions of the 
Lord s people, that first entered this wilderness ! 
How did our fathers entertain the Gospel, and all 
the pure institutions thereof, and those liberties 
which they brought over ! What was their com- 



munion and fellowship in the administrations of the 
Kingdom of Jesus Christ ! What was the pitch of 
their brotherly love, of their zeal for God and his 
ways, and against ways destructive of truth and holi 
ness !" ****** * * "God sifted a whole 
nation, that he might send choice grain over into 
this wilderness." He further says, " Consider and 
remember always, that the books that shall be opened 
at the last day will contain genealogies in them. 
There shall then be brought forth a register of the 
genealogies of New England s sons and daughters. 
How shall we, many of us, hold up our faces then, 
when there shall be a solemn rehearsal of our descent, 
as well as of our degeneracies ! To have it published, 
whose child thou art, will be cutting to thy soul, as 
well as to have the crimes reckoned up that thou 
art guilty of." 

" Governor Stougliton was a man of much wealth 
for those days, and was a large landholder. His 
residence was at the northeast corner of the streets 
now known as Pleasant Street and Savin Hill Ave 
nue. Two large elms which still remain, one at the 
corner of those streets and one in the avenue, and 
the oldest of the elm trees on Pleasant Street in a 
southerly direction, are supposed to have been trans 
planted by him, and consequently must be 160 years 
old or upwards. Probably no man who ever lived 
in the town was possessed of more influence than 
Governor Stoughton. He was a great friend to edu 
cation. He has been considered, by some of this 
generation, as intolerant and bigoted, on account of 
the part he took, in those unfortunate times, during 


the trial and condemnation of the witches. But he 
acted in conformity with the prevailing ideas of his 
age, was undoubtedly conscientious in his opinions 
and acts, and was one of the most tolerant men of his 
day. When his colleague, Judge Sewall, made a 
public recantation in the Old South Church for the 
part he took in the trials referred to, Gov. Stoughton 
declined to do the same, saying that he had no con 
fessions to make, for at the time the trials took place 
he thought that he was right, and acted his part with 
all sincerity, although he was now convinced that 
he was wrong. 

An article in Putnam s Magazine, of September, . 
1853, says that "Chief Justice Stoughton, after the 
delusion was over, sent a note to the pulpit on Sun 
day desiring prayers for his pardon, if in any way he 
had sinned by his course in the trials ; and as it was 
read he stood up in his pew, showing by his quiver 
ing lip the strong feeling within." Whether this 
account is correct, we knoAV not. The whole affair 
is a strange compound of facts, fancies and inconsis 
tencies, woven into public accusations and judicial 
decisions. One of the most eminent of the English 
judges condemned many individuals to death for this 
supposed crime. In this neighborhood, after twenty 
persons were publicly executed, when eight more 
were under sentence of death, and a hundred and 
fifty were in jail for trial, about fifty of whom had 
confessed, and two hundred or more at large were 
charged with the crime, many of whom were among 
the best citizens, the public became alarmed. The 
sternness of the Courts, the fanaticism of the Clergy 


and the fury of the people began to abate, the trials 
were stopped, and the delusion vanished. May its 
history be a lesson and a solemn warning in all com 
ing time. 

v Gov. Stoughtoii and Mr. Peter Bulkley were the 
deputed agents of the colony to answer to the com 
plaint of Mason and Gorges, that the colony had 
taken land granted to them. The agents went to 
England in 1676, and returned in 1679. 
^ Gov. Stoughton s funeral sermon was preached at 
the lecture in Boston, July 17, 1701, by Rev. Samuel 
Willard, of the Old South Church. He was one of 
the last of the original Puritans that slandered, but 
inestimable race of men. Their work is done ; their 
mission is ended. The world was galvanized by 
their heroism, stability and magnanimous achieve 
ments. They opened an eventful future; their names 
are connected with the most momentous questions 
which have since agitated the civilized world. 

Much has been written and reported concerning 
Gov. Stoughton s will. The following extracts from 
it contain the portions which more particularly re 
late to his public bequests : 

To the Church at Dorchester, two pieces of plate for the 
Communion of six pounds value each ; also the sum of 50, 
to be left under improvement by the care and diligence of the 
Deacons for the time being, under the oversight of the Teach 
ing and Ruling officers of that Church. 

Towards the relief of the poor of Dorchester I give the like 
sum of 50, to be improved by the care of the Selectmen, and 
the income to be distributed to the most needy inhabitants. 

Unto the schools of Dorchester I give the sum of one hun 
dred and fifty pounds, to be secured and settled under im- 


provement, for a yearly income towards the advancement of 
the salary of the schoolmaster wherein my will is, that if 
within the space of ten years next following- the date of this 
my last will, the town of Dorchester shall not have provided 
and settled such a salary of their own proper gift as shall 
make up the present salary already settled to be and contin 
ued to the full value of 40 a year ; in that case I say my 
will is that, until they shall have provided and settled a sala 
ry of that value of 40 a year, the whole income and improve 
ment of this my gift shall yearly be paid to the Steward of 
Harvard College in Cambridge, arid at the discretion of the 
President and Fellows thereof, be given toward the encourage 
ment of some well-deserving student there, coming from or 
belonging to the town of Milton, if any such there be, other 
wise to some other that may deserve it. 

Unto the Church of Milton I give one piece of plate for the 
Communion, of six pounds value. 

To the town of Milton I give out of my great wood-lot 
there, forty acres, to be conveniently and equitably laid out 
to them. The whole improvement thereof to be for the bene 
fit of the poor of that town as the Selectmen thereof shall 
judge best. 

A nd whereas through the great goodness of God, for which I 
most solemnly bless him, as a testimony of my unfeigned respect 
for Harvard College at Cambridge, the place of my first public 
education (which nursery of good learning hath been of ines 
timable blessing to the Church and people of God in this \vil- 
derncss, and may ever continue to be so, if this people con 
tinue in the favor of God), I have lately erected and finished 
an additional building to that College, with tho previous 
grant and consent of the President and Fellows that it shall 
be in my liberty to make and establish an appropriation of 
some part of the income of that building to be for the benefit 
of some students in particular as I shall appoint. It is there 
fore my desire and will accordingly. (He here directs that 
20 per year, for five years, of the income of the building, 
shall be appropriated for the support and education of Elijah 
Danforth, at the College, son of Rev. John Danforth.) Af- 



ter the expiration of five years, there shall be reserved out of 
the revenue and income of said building the sum of 10 annu 
ally forever, to be exhibited at the discretion of the President 
and Fellows of said College for the time being, towards the 
support and education of some poor scholar at the College as 
they shall judge most indigent and deserving a minister s 
son to have the preference of others. Provided, nevertheless, 
when any of my own kindred, descended either from my father 
or my Uncle Thomas Stoughton, late of Windsor, in the 
Colony of Connecticut, deceased, shall happen to be a student 
at the College and stand in need of support, such shall be 
preferred in the first place to the said exhibition, and next to 
them any poor scholar that shall come from the town of Dor 
chester within this Province, and that none receive the benefit 
of this exhibition that shall not actually reside at the College, 
nor for any longer than that he shall receive the degree of A. M. 
And as a further testimony of my desire to promote the 
good literature and education of such therein as may be ser 
viceable to God and the Church, I do further give and be 
queath unto the President and Fellows of Harvard College 
and their successors forever, all that my pasture in Dor 
chester, which is now in the occupation of John Robinson 
and all that my parcel of salt meadow, which is in the occu 
pation of John Trescott, willing and appointing the clear 
profits and income of both to -be exhibited in the first place to 
a scholar of the town of Dorchester, and if there be none such, 
then to a scholar of the town of Milton, and in want of such, 
to any Indian student, and in want of such, to any other well - 
deserving scholar that may be most needy. 

The epitaph on his tomb is one of the most com 
prehensive and elegant ever written. It is almost 
the same as the one inscribed on the tomb of Blaise 
Pascal, the famous French Philosopher, who died in 
1662, and which was written by Aimonius Proust 
de Chambourg, Professor of Law in the University 
of Orleans. Gov. Stoughton s friend Cotton Mather 


is supposed to have arranged and altered it to suit 
the case. 


Provincife Massachusettensis In Nova Anglia Legatus, 

deinde Gubernator; 

Nec-non Curias in eadcm Provincia Superioris 
Justiciarius Capitalis, 
Hie Jacet. 

Vir Conjugij nescius, 
Religionc Sanctus, 
Virtute Clarus, 
Doctrina Celebris, 
Ingenio Acutus, 

Sanguine et Animo pariter Illustris, 
JEquitatis Amator, 
Legum Propugnator, 
Collegij Stoughtoniani Fundator, 
Literarum et Literatorum Fautor Celeberrimus, 
Impietatis et Vitij Hostis Acerrimus. 
Hunc Rhetores amant Facundum, 
Hunc Scriptores norunt Elegantem, 
Hunc Philosophi quaarunt Sapientem, 
Hunc Doctores Laudant Theologum, 
Hunc Pij Venerantur Austerum, 
Hunc Omnes Mirantur ; Omnibus Ignotum, 

Omnibus Licet Notum. 
Quid Plura Viator ! Quern perdidimus 

Satis dixi, urgent Lachrymse, 


Vixit Annos Septuaginta ; 
Septimo Die Julij, Anno Salutis 1?01, 


Heu ! Heu 1 Qualis Luctus I 


The following is nearly a literal translation of this 
celebrated epitaph : 

Here lies 

Lieutenant, afterwards Governor, 
Of the Province of Massachusetts in New England. 

Chief Judge of the Superior Court 

In the same Province. 
A man to wedlock unknown, 
Devout in Religion, 
Eenowned for Virtue, 
Famous for Erudition, 
Acute in Judgment, 

Equally Illustrious by Kindred and Spirit, 
A Lover of Equity, 
A Defender of the Laws, 
Founder of Stoughton Hall, 

A most Distinguished Patron of Letters and Literary Men, 
A most strenuous Opponent of Impiety and Vice. 
Rhetoricians delight in him as Eloquent, 
Writers are acquainted with Him as Elegant, 
Philosophers seek Him as Wise, 
Doctors honor Him as a Theologian, 
The Devout revere Him as Grave, 
All admire Him ; unknown by All, 

Yet known to All. 

What need of more, Traveller ? Whom have we lost 


I have said sufficient, Tears press, 
I keep silence. 

He lived Seventy years ; 
On the Seventh of July, in the Year of Safety 1701, 

He Died. 
Alas ! Alas ! What Grief! 


1702. This year the town voted to shut up the 
middle aisle of the meeting-house. 

i- Oct. 22d, was a general fast on account of the 
war, and on account of the sickness in New York 
and here. 

The 18th of November Mr. John Robinson, of 
this town, was settled over the Church at Duxbury. 
Elder Topliff was chosen to attend, with the Pastor, 
at the ordination. 

1703. Aug. 16th, Mr. Robert Spurr died, aged 
93 years. He had been a very prominent man in 
the town, and more liberal in his religious belief 
than most of his contemporaries. 

The Church Records thus allude to public affairs : 
" April 8th, 1703. A public general thanksgiving 
for her Majesty s successes by sea and land against 
the French and Spaniards in Europe and America 
many ships, much treasure, and many towns being 
taken. John, Earl of Maiiborough, is Captain Gen 
eral of the land forces ; James, Duke of Ormand, is 
General of the fleet forces ; and Sir George Rook 
is Admiral of the fleet, under our sovereign Queen 
Anne, who came to the throne March 8, 1702. But 
before the late King William III., of glorious memo 
ry, died, there were sundry societies set up for re 
formation of manners, and behold the smiles of Hea 
ven upon the same ! our nation on a sudden being 
filled with plenty of grain, and plenty of silver (the 
late fleet being taken), and plenty of honour and 
victory, so that the Queen has invited her subjects 
in the plantations of America to rejoice with her, 
and return thanks to God." 


There were three fasts and two thanksgivings 
this year. There was great commiseration felt in 
the town for Rev. John Williams and his fellow-cap 
tives from Deerfield, and a suitable notice of this 
affair appears upon the Church Records. Mr. Wil 
liams was well acquainted in this town, being born 
in Roxbury, near by ; he also kept the school in 
Dorchester, in 1684. 

1704. The practice of a free contribution to pay 
the salary of the minister, Rev. Mr. Danforth, which 
had been followed for several years, appears to have 
failed of answering that end, and this year it was 
voted to have a tax for the purpose, but at the same 
time to have the contribution continued, and every 
man to put his money in a paper with his name 
thereon. This plan was afterwards changed, accord 
ing to circumstances. 

March 13th, it was voted, on petition from the 
gunners of the town, " that the wild fowl from the 
south-east of Neck unto Thompson s Island (the 
northeasterly part thereof), should not be disturbed 
in their feed, from half ebb, unto half Hood, by trim 
ming or sailing upon them, under penalty of twenty 
shillings, one half thereof unto the informer, and the 
other half unto the poor of the town." 

"July 18th, 1704. Our lecture was turned into 
a day of humiliation and prayer, to ask converting 
grace, and ask rain in time of drought, and other 
mercies. The Pastor being sick, Mr. Thacher and 
Mr. Walter preached and prayed, and Mr. Cotton 
Mather helped in prayer. Merciful showers followed, 
and in divers Churches hereabouts, and in Connecti- 


cut, the wheel of prayer has been, and now is going. 
Audiat Dominus." 

Oct. 25th. Mr. Robert Breck, a native of Dorches 
ter, was ordained at Marlborough. Mr. Danforth, 
Elder Clap and Deacon Preston were sent from the 
Church here to assist. 

The Church records mention several matters of 
note which transpired in the vicinity ; one, that Mr. 
Gardner, minister of Lancaster, \vas killed Oct. 25th, 
one of the watch shooting him by mistake. 

" 10 (10) 1704. The decease of Rev. Mr. Clark, 
of Chelmsford, was publicly lamented in a sermon on 
Acts xx. 25, 37, 38. Item, the Rev. Mr. Williams, 
of Deerfield, is still in captivity ; and Dunstable not 
yet supplied with a Pastor. Thus in the frontier 
towns are tokens of the anger of the Lord, from 
Deerfield to Dunstable." 

1705, Feb. 6th. Old widow Wiat died, having 
arrived at the great age of 94 years. She had assist 
ed, as midwife, at the birth of upwards of one thou 
sand and one hundred children. 

This year, March 12th, the town voted that there 
should be a wharf made at Wales s creek, at the 
town s charge, and for the public benefit. Col. Tay 
lor, Capt, Foster and Dea. Preston were chosen a 
committee to see the work done, but the wharf was 
not built for several years. 

This year there was trouble with Rev. Messrs. 
Wyman of Woburn, Sherman of Sudbury, and Wood- 
bridge of Medford, and their respective Churches. 
In each case the Church of Dorchester was called 
upon to assist by its delegates. 


1706. This year St. Christopher s was sacked by 
the French, its inhabitants being left in a sad state, 
and an appeal was made for relief to the congrega 
tions in this vicinity. May 5th there was a collec 
tion in Dorchester for them, and 10 6s Wd raised. 

" Old mother Pelton, the aged and pious widow 
Woods, Father Maudsly, and Father Pierce, deceased 

" December. The Rev. Mr. John Williams, Pastor 
of Deerfield, and many captives with him, returned 
from their French and Indian captivity very lately, 
in answer to public prayers on that behalf. Gloria 
Deo in Xto." Mr. Williams preached here the March 

The proprietors of the undivided lands seem to 
have been actuated by a liberal spirit, and were gen 
erous in their gifts when they supposed the interest 
of the town would be promoted. This year they 
voted to admit Rev. John Danforth, and Rev. Mr. 
Thacher of Milton, as proprietors, and granted the 
former 200 and the latter 100 acres of land ; also 
75 acres to the ministry for those " beyond the blue 
hills ;" and 150 acres to Milton, provided a grammar 
school was kept there for fifteen years. 

1707. This year the town voted "that the land 
belonging to Dorchester beyond the blue hills should 
be called by the name of Dorchester New Grant." 
It was set off as a Precinct as far as Mashapoag 
pond and Moose hill, and " y e Meeting-house ordered 
to be sett " upon Packeen Plain. 

The Church Records say, " Apr. 21, the Rev. Mr. 
Torrey, of Weymouth, deceased, who had been 50 


years in the ministry ; an able, painful, faithful min 
ister of Christ, ^Etatis anno 76 or 77. He was born 
some weeks before his time, and was kept warm in 
lamb skins till the full proper time came." 

There were several deaths of aged people in the 
town this year. Among them, widow Mary Max- 
field, aged about 86 or 87 years ; " Mr. Nathaniel 
Clap, sen r, a choice man ;" and " Brother John Ca- 
pen." Oct. 21st, aged Father Wales was buried. 
" Nov. 12th, Deacon Preston, sen r, of like age, viz., 
86 (or, as some aver, 88), was buried. " 

1708. Mr. Hubbard and others petitioned the 
town for liberty to dig iron ore in the undivided 
lands, and the town chose a committee to look into 
the business and see what trespass had been com 
mitted in digging for that purpose. 

This year the town passed a vote, " that any per 
son within the town killing any grown blackbirds, 
from the 1st of April unto the last of May, should 
have twelve pence pr dozen for them, and six pence 
pr dozen for all young ones fledged." A vote simi 
lar to the above was passed for many years, and 
much money paid to those who brought the heads 
as a proof. These birds were usually denominated 
crow or stare, red-winged, and hen or grey black 

Wm. Noahaton, Samuel Mamantaug and Amos 
Noahaton, Indians of Punkapaug, in behalf of their 
tribe, thanked the town for its care of them and 
their interests, in settling the boundaries between 
them and their white neighbors ; and understanding 
that the town was offended because they had leased 


their land to the English, promised to lease no more, 
and gave up all their right in that parcel of land 
about the Punkapaug Meeting-house, containing 
about three acres, for a burying place and training 

Elder Samuel Clap died Oct. 16th of this year. 
He was the eldest son of Capt. Roger Clap, and 
much respected. He was " long time a Captain, 
and often a representative ; a very worthy man ; 
was Ruling Elder of y e Church," " aged abt. 74 

1709. David Colson, of Boston, fellmonger, pe 
titioned the town for liberty to erect a mill on Nepon- 
set river, he having bought land for that purpose of 
Mr. Babcock, on the Milton side. The selectmen 
made an agreement with him, giving him leave on 
certain conditions. Mr. Colson, early in 1710, also 
purchased land of Col. Hutchinson, on the Dorches 
ter side of the river, for the purpose of erecting his 

" Item, news is come of her Majesty s intentions 
to make an attack upon Canada ; which the Lord 
succeed to his glory and N. E. s safety and peace, 
for Christ s sake, if it be his blessed will. Amen." 
< The above extract from the Church Records shows 
the probable reason why six companies of soldiers 
were raised. Two of these companies were com 
posed of Indians. 

1710. Nothing out of the common course seems 
to have transpired this year. 

1711. Zabdiel Boylston, of Boston, " chirurgeon," 
sued the town to recover 31 14s 6d for the care of 


Mary Lyon, who was wounded on the road to Bos 
ton. A committee was chosen to defend the case, 
with power to employ an attorney. The town was, 
however, obliged to pay the Doctor, and a rate of 
4:0 was made for the purpose, a petition to the 
General Court upon the subject being also presented. 

1712. The town, in 1710, having voted that if 
any persons would build a wharf at a place called 
Wales s Creek, they and their heirs should enjoy it 
forever, this year Standfast Foster, Ebenezer Daven 
port, Joseph Hall, Preserved Capen, Nathan Brad 
ley, Francis Price, Remember Preston, Jonathan 
Clap, Ebenezer Moseley, Ebenezer Williams, John 
Moseley and Humphrey Atherton, agreed to build it 
on those conditions, and the town, through a com 
mittee chosen for the purpose, laid out a " way for 
the use and benefit of the inhabitants of the town 
of Dorchester." This " way " is now called Creek 
Street, and runs east from Pleasant Street, opposite 
the house of the late Samuel Downer. 

Rev. Mr. Danforth, this year, gave up his right 
to the " ministry house " and land, the town agree 
ing to pay him on that account three pounds a 
year. It is probable that he built, at this time, the 
house which he afterwards occupied, and which is 
now standing in Bowdoin Street, opposite the en 
trance to the mansion of the late Rev. Dr. Harris. 

" March 9th, Joseph Bird died by a wound in his 
forehead, occasioned by his gun flying out of y e 
stock when he fired at Fowl, being upon y e water in 
his Cannoo." There were many accidents recorded 
from the use of guns ; a great deal of gunning being 


done by the inhabitants of the town, especially for 
sea fowl. John Pierce, of Dorchester, was one of the 
most noted sportsmen in the vicinity. He was great 
grandfather of the late Eev. John Pierce, D.D., who 
died in Brookline, Aug. 23d, 1849. John, the 
sportsman, was born in Dorchester in 1668. He spent 
much time in killing wild fowl. It is said, upon 
good authority, that he kept an account of the brants 
shot by him they being then, as now, considered a 
superior quality of game and they amounted to 
thirty thousand. He did not, like many less skilful 
gunners, lose his life from so constant a use of fire 
arms, but died in consequence of a fall, January 27, 

1713. " Voted that forty pounds a year of the 
town s proper gift, should be a settled standing salary 
for the schoolmaster, according to Mr. Stoughton s 

The proprietors, this year, were incorporated into 
a distinct body from the town, and were henceforth 
called " The Proprietors of the Undivided Lands." 
This body held its meetings until after 1750. 

For a long time there had been a difficulty about 
the boundary line of Dorchester. The fact of its 
running so far into the wilderness accounts for this. 
The General Court had previously appointed Samuel 
Thaxter and Jacob Thompson to notify the towns 
concerned, and May 4th, of this year, the agents ap 
pointed by the different towns met in Attleboro , at 
the house of Mr. Doggett, and proceeded to seek for 
" Angle tree," which they succeeded in finding by 
the aid of some of the old inhabitants, who said 


it was the same that was marked for the boundary 
line in 1664. From thence they run the line to Ac 
cord Pond, and found the distance to be twenty-five 
and a half miles and twenty rods. Their report was 
accepted by the Representatives, and consented to 
by the Governor, although the gentlemen appointed 
by the towns of Attleboro and Norton would not 
acknowledge the tree, nor be concerned in running 
the line. Perambulating the lines of the town, in 
those days, through swamps, forests and under-brush, 
and sleeping at night upon the ground, was a labor 
which few among us would now be found hardy 
enough to endure. 

1714. This year it was voted " that the town s 
books should be new bound " as soon as possible. 

June llth, Dr. Smith died. 

The town voted to have stairs made in the meet 
ing-house, from the beams up to the turret, and that 
the meeting-house " be repaired with all speed." 

1715. The town voted, this year, to sell " Little 
Woods," so called, " leaving sufficient highway for 
them that have occasion for the same." This is the 
spot which has now been known for many years as 
Swan s woods, near Roxbury line. It was not sold, 
however, until 1730. 

The first light-house in Boston Harbor was 
erected this year, on Light-House or Beacon Island, 
the location of the present " Boston Light House." 
It is the southerly part of the Great Brewster, and 
connected therewith, at low water, by a bar. 

1716. February 19th, "fell y e remarkable great 
snow, after a moderate winter," 


" January 8th, Daniel Ellen s confession was read 
and accepted, and he was released from the excom 
munication inflicted on him about 37 years." 

1717. The town granted liberty to Elijah and 
Samuel Danforth to build a corn mill on a stream 
in the new grant, on twelfth division. The spot 
granted was called Pacomit. Afterwards the twelfth 
division was incorporated as the town of Stoughton, 
a large part of the voters of Dorchester signing an 
article in the warrant for the town meeting to con 
sider the subject. 

The Church Records say, " Feb. 6th, snow in 
drifts 25 feet deep ; in the woods, a yard and more 
on the level." 

" Aug. 15th. In our village, seventy sick." 
This year the line was run between Dorchester, 
and Attleboro and Norton, the two latter towns 
probably agreeing to the boundary line established 
by the General Court in 1713. 

1718. It is stated in the Church Records : " In 
about three months have deceased in full communi 
cants in Dorchester, besides Deacon Blake, these : 
Capt. Ebenezer Billings, Esq., Capt. Roger Billings, 
Mr. Desire Clap, Mr. Ebenezer Williams, sen r, and 
his wife, Mr. Benjamin Leeds, Mr. Samuel Hall, the 
widow Robinson, and the wife of John Glover." 

Ebenezer Holmes, this year, entered a dissent 
against the Indian tenants having liberty to vote. 

1719. Elder Hopestill Clap, brother of Elder 
Samuel, died Sept. 2d. Upon his grave-stone is the 
following, written by Rev. John Danforth. 


" Here lies Interred y e Body of Mr. Hopestill Clap, who Deceased 
Sepr. 2d, 1719, aged 72 years. 

His Dust waits till y e lubile, 
Shall then Shine brighter than y 9 Skie ; 
Shall meet & joine to part no more, 
His Soul that Glorify d before. 
Pastors and Churches happy be 
With Ruling Elders such as he : 
Present Useful, Absent Wanted, 
Liv d Desired, Died Lamented." 

Nathaniel Hubbard, Esq., was about this time 
chosen moderator of the town meetings. He appears 
to have been a new man in the town, and lived in 
the south part. 

1720. The General Court confirmed to the town 
their old boundary line on the Plymouth Colony, as 
granted in 1637 and 1638, as ascertained in 1664, 
and purchased of the Indians in 1684. It appears 
that Daniel Howard, Robert Howard, Joseph Snell 
and Ephraim Fobes, had become squatters on some 
land in the south part of the town, and it became 
necessary to take out a writ of trespass, before they 
could be brought to terms. 

1721. This year the small pox went through 
Boston ; and many in this town also had it (82 in 
number), 13 of whom died Edward and Samuel 
Payson and Nathaniel Butt among the number. 
The mortality from the disease seems to have been 
very nearly the same in the whole neighborhood, that 
it was in Dorchester, as here stated from the Church 
Records. It was calculated that in Boston and the 
neighboring towns, 5759 persons had the small pox 
in the natural way during the year 1721 and the 
beginning of 1722, and that 844 died. Inoculation 


of small pox was this year introduced into the vici 
nity of Boston by Dr. Zabdiel Boylston, before it had 
been tried in any other of the colonies, or even in 
England except on a few convicts. It produced 
great excitement, like all reforms ; and, strange as 
it may appear, Cotton Mather favored its trial and 
had faith in its efficacy. Nearly all the physicians, 
as well as most of the clergy, were opposed to the 
practice, and in July of this year the Selectmen of 
Boston forbade it. Notwithstanding this strong 
opposition, Dr. B. in less than a year had inoculated 
247 persons, and other medical men 39 ; and of 
these 286 cases only 6 died. The utility of the 
practice was soon established beyond dispute, and 
was continued until Dr. Jenner s discovery of the 
milder preventive, vaccination. 

1722. Mrs. Elizabeth, wife of Rev. John Dan- 
forth, died July 6th of this year, in the 59th year of 
her age. Mr. Henry Leadbetter, sen., died April 
20th; and Elder Samuel Topliif, Oct. 12th. 

Philip Withington and Joseph Leeds were chosen 
tythingmen this year, which is supposed to be the 
first year that such officers were chosen. The an 
nual choice of them was continued until it became 
a mere farce, and one of the last chosen in the town 
was an old man nearly or quite blind, who lived out 
of the way, near Pine Garden. The duty of these 
officers was to prevent an improper use of the Sab 
bath, and very discreet conduct only would satisfy 
the demands of the law. 

1723. Dea. Jonathan Clap, a very pious and 
useful man, and much respected, died January 2d, 


1723-24, aged about 41 years. He was a large real 
estate owner, and was proprietor of the mill known 
as " Clap s Mill," which stood on the Creek near the 
foot of Willow Court. He was a brother of Rev. 
Nathaniel Clap, the famous minister of Newport, 
R. I., whose advice to children makes the concluding 
paragraph in the old New England Primer. He was 
father of Noah Clap, A.M., so many years in the 
town s service. Lieut. Samuel Clap died January 
30th, succeeding. Blake says, " both of them very 
pious and useful men, and much lamented." 

February 24th, of this year, there was an exceed 
ingly high tide, probably the highest known here, 
until April, 1852. 

1724. This year a portion of the south precinct of 
the town was set off to Wrentham, on petition of 
Jonathan Blake, Solomon Hews, and others. This 
petition, like most similar ones since, was opposed 
by the town ; but it would seem that sufficient cause 
was shown by the petitioners for their request ; viz., 
" that they lye thirty miles from the old meeting 
house, and fifteen from the southern meeting-house 
at Puncapaug, so that they are under great disad 
vantages for attending the public worship there." 

The size of the town of Dorchester can be ima 
gined when we find that it extended from Dor 
chester Point (now South Boston Point), over 
against the Castle (now Fort Independence), to 
within 160 rods of the line of Rhode Island ; about 
35 miles as " y e road goeth." The part this year 
set off to Wrentham, was larger than one half of the 
present town of Canton. An excellent and authen- 


tic account of the matter has been published by Ellis 
Ames, Esq., of Canton. The town has been subdi 
vided, and portions set off as follows : Milton, in 
1662; part of Wrentham, in 1724; Stoughton, in 
1726 ; Sharon, 1765 ; Eoxborough, 1778 ; Canton, 
1779. A strip was also set off to Dedham, proba 
bly in 1739 ; and the north part of the town has 
lost a portion of its territory, which has been added 
to Boston, at two separate times the first in 1804, 
and the last in 1855. The town was formerly 
bounded by Boston, Roxbury, Dedham, Wrentham, 
Taunton, Bridgewater and Braintree. 

Mr. William Royal, one of the aged citizens of 
the town, died Nov. 7th of this year. He was a son 
of William Royal, of North Yarmouth, Me., who 
was undoubtedly the person named by Hazard as 
being sent over as a cooper and cleaver in 1629. 
He was a prominent man in Maine, and a member 
of the Assembly in 1648. A river in North Yar 
mouth bears his name. His children were Wil 
liam, born in 1640, who died as above; John, 
and a daughter who married Amos Stevens. John 
was taken prisoner by the Indians, but was after 
wards ransomed. William, of Dorchester, had 
a son, Hon. Isaac Royal, born in 1672, who was a 
man of wealth and distinction. He erected in our 
old burying ground a very large, substantial and 
expensive tomb for his father. He spent about 40 
years of his life in Antigua, but returned to Charles- 
town, Mass., in July, 1737> where he died June 7th, 
1739, and at his own desire was interred with his 
father. His character, as recorded on his monu- 


ment, stood high as a Christian, patriot and states 

1725. " Sept. 26. About a fortnight ago, Jo 
seph Maudsly, Mr. John Preston, Mr. Soper, and 
Mrs. Butt s son, on a fishing voyage, turned into a 
cove at the Eastward, in their vessel, with Joseph 
Maudsly s servant boy, also Mr. Hunnewell, of Bos 
ton, went in with them, also Mr. Cox strove to go 
in, but the fog hindered him ; and the Indians bar 
barously murdered all that went in, but the boy." 
(The boy was redeemed in 1728.) 

Drake, in his History of Boston, says that in 
1725 bears were very plenty, twenty being killed in 
one week within two miles of Boston. 

1726. August 25th, of this year, Capt. Samuel 
Paul died. He had been Town- Clerk eleven years. 

This year the south part of the town was set off 
and incorporated into a town called Stoughton, 
which has since been subdivided. When the ques 
tion came before the town of Dorchester, to see 
whether they would agree to its being set off, the 
vote was 34 in favor and 29 against it. 

1727. A Province Tax was this year assessed on 
the polls and estates of the inhabitants of the town 
of Dorchester, to the amount of 821. 10s. lid. ; and 
the aggregate of the property stands thus : 


Rateable Polls, 252 Decked Vessels, tons 64 

Not rateable " 24 Open " " 68 

Total, 276 Total, 132 




Houses, 11T Male Slaves, 10 

Mills, 6 Female " f 

Orchards, acres 250J Oxen, 157 

Mowing, " 1834J Cows, 661 

Pasture, " 2873J Horses, 20T 

Tillage, 518J Sheep and Goats, 661 

Swine, 251 
Total Acres, 5476f Trading Stock, &c. 

Value, 431 

The tax assessed on the real estate is 121. 16s. Qd. 
On the personal, 91 14s. lid. Total, 821 10s. lid. 

The list of polls and estates was made and sworn 
to by the assessors Elijah Danforth, Thomas Tiles- 
ton, Ebenezer Clap, Preserved Capen, James Blake, 
Jr. ; and examined by John Chandler, John Quincy, 
and John Brown, Commissioners. 

About 10 o clock on the night of October 29th, 
of this year, there was a violent shock of an earth 
quake in the vicinity, and much damage done to 
buildings. It continued by spells for several months. 
At Newbury and in that neighborhood, it is said 
the " ground broke." This earthquake caused a 
very great fright. It happened on Monday night, 
and people collected together in great numbers, 
especially in large towns. In Boston, on the next 
morning (Tuesday), a great concourse of people 
came together at the North Church ; and at five 
in the evening they crowded together at the Old 
Church, and having filled that, flocked to the South 
Church and filled that also. On recommendation 
of Lieut. Gov. Dummer, Thursday, of the same 
week, was kept as a day of extraordinary fasting and 
prayer by all the churches. In this town, Eev. Mr. 


Dan forth preached a sermon on the occasion, which 
was printed. It commences as follows : " For an 
introduction to our following discourse, it may not 
be improper to say, Rejoice not for joy, O New Eng 
land ! as other people ; for thou hast gone a whor 
ing from thy God. The Lord has known and own 
ed thee, above all the families of the earth ; and 
therefore He will punish thee for thine iniquities." 
This was plain talk for one so mild and conciliatory 
as Mr. Danforth, and serves to show the state of 
feeling which prevailed. 

This year the burying ground was enlarged, by 
purchasing of Henry Flint, Edmund Quincy, and 
Esther Flint, one quarter of an acre of land on the 
east side. 

The committee chosen to examine the quality of 
the school farm of 1000 acres, " beyond Lancaster," 
reported this year that they had attended to that 
duty, and " upon a careful view thereof (found) the 
north side to be good land, but y e south side to be 
uneven and mean land." 

There was a violent storm, this year, which blew 
down many trees. The town voted to cut twenty 
cords of woods from the fallen trees in the ministe 
rial land, for the use of Rev. John Danforth. 

The inhabitants of the town at this time, as well 
as their descendants in later years, were troubled by 
dogs, and the following vote was accordingly passed, 
viz. : " Whereas of late dogs have frequently come 
into our meeting-house on Sabbath days, and by 
their barking, quarrelling, &c., have made disturb 
ance in time of Divine service," Sec. A penalty was 
then fixed upon the owners of such animals. 


1729. Rev. John Danforth having been the sole 
minister of the town for forty-seven years, and hav 
ing now become aged, the Church called Rev. Jona 
than Bowman, of Lexington, to act as colleague pas 
tor ; and May 28th, the town confirmed their choice. 
Several church meetings were held to settle upon 
candidates. They first chose three candidates, and 
then selected one of the three, so that it w^ould ap 
pear that Mr. Bowman hatl strong points, to succeed 
among so many. For the choice of first candidate, 
the vote was as follows : for Mr. Danforth, 1 ; Mr. 
Stimson, 1 ; Mr. Elliot, 2 ; Mr. Byles, 8 ; Mr. Pay- 
son, 12 ; Mr. Bowman, 41. So Mr. Bowman was 
the first nomination for probation. Three days sub 
sequently, they voted for a second, with the follow 
ing result, viz. : Mr. Coolidge, 1 ; Mr. Bowes, 2 ; 
Mr. Elliot, 4 ; Mr. Byles, 15 ; Mr. Payson, 35. So 
Mr. Payson was their second nomination. The third 
ballot w r as as follows : Mr. Pearse, 1 ; Mr. Wads- 
worth, 1 ; Mr. Champney, 1 ; Mr. Bowes, 4 ; Mr. 
Elliot, 8 ; Mr. Coolidge, 8 ; Mr. Byles, 21 or 22 
(one name badly spelt). And Mr. Byles was their 
third nomination. Upon the final choice of the 
Church, May llth, which was to be made from 
these three, the vote was as follows : Mr. Payson, 
12; Mr. Byles, 15; Mr. Bowman, 51. 

The Mr. Payson here mentioned, was Phillips 
Payson, son of Samuel Payson, of this town. He 
graduated at Harvard College, and was settled in the 
ministry at Walpole, Mass. Mr. Byles was the 
famous Mather Byles, a man of learning and genius, 
and celebrated to this day for his jokes and witti- 


cisms an opportunity to indulge in which, he sel 
dom let pass unimproved. 

The ordination of Mr. Bowman took place Nov. 
5th, of this year, and was a great affair. It was 
customary, in those days, for every family to keep 
open house when a new minister was ordained, and 
friends from far and near were welcomed to the 
entertainment. The services at the ordination were 
as follows : Mr. Walter, of Eoxbury, gave the right 
hand of fellowship ; Mr. Hancock, of Brain tree, 
preached ; Mr. Danforth gave the charge ; Mr. 
Walter, Mr. Ellis, Mr. Hancock and Mr. Niles laid 
on hands. 

Mr. Bowman was a son of Joseph Bowman, of 
Lexington, and was born Feb. 23d, 1703-4. and 
graduated at Harvard College in 1724. 

1730. May 26th, Rev. John Danforth, pastor of 
the Church in Dorchester, departed this life. He 
was buried on the 30th, one hundred years from the 
settlement of the town. Mr. D. was son of Rev. 
Samuel Danforth, of Roxbury, and was born Nov. 
8th, 1660, graduated at Harvard College in 1677, 
settled here in the ministry June 28, 1682 then a 
young man of talent and grace and through a long 
and successful ministry proved himself a man of 
fidelity and worth. He took great interest in the 
affairs of the church and town, and was evidently 
remarkably well acquainted with both. He admin 
istered counsel, reproof, admonition and encourage 
ment, as circumstances required, and with sound 
discretion, and appears to have been remarkably 
popular in the town and its vicinity. It is deeply 


to be regretted that no monument was erected to 
his memory in our burying ground, by the town to 
which he so long and faithfully ministered. 

Mr. Blake, in his Annals, thus speaks of him : 
" He was S d to be a man of great Learning, he un 
derstood y e Mathematicks beyond most men of his 
Function. He was exceeding Charitable, & of a 
very peacefull temper. He took much pains to Eter 
nize y e Names of many of y e good Christians of his 
own Flock ; And yet y e World is so ungratefull, 
that he has not a Line Written to preserue his 
memory, no not so much as upon his Tomb ; he 
being buried in Lt. Govr. Stoughton s Tomb that 
was covered with writing before. And there also 
lyeth his Consort, Mrs. Elizabeth Danforth." 

The expenses of Rev. Mr. Danforth s funeral, ex 
clusive of mourning clothes, were 591. 4s. 4d., of 
which sum the Church paid 40. 

May 15th, of this year, the town voted (on the 
petition of Col. Estes Hatch, of Boston, and Jonas 
Humphrey, of this town) to sell the piece of land 
called Little Woods (now Swan s Woods). This 
land is now the property of the heirs of Col. James 
Swan, and lies about fifty rods from Roxbury Brook, 
on what is called Stoughton Street. A large part 
of the tract is in very nearly the same condition at 
present as it was at that time. It was estimated at 
49 acres; the price paid, 440. As early as 1648, 
it was used as a place for oxen to rest in over night, 
probably on their way to and from Boston. 

Rev. Mr. Bowman, in consideration of 250 from 
the town, and liberty to take timber out of the minis- 


terial land for a new house, relinquished his right 
to the ministerial house, barn and orchard. It is 
supposed that about this time he built the house 
now occupied by Mr. John Barnard, on Pleasant 
Street ; he purchased the land for that purpose, this 
year, of Jonathan Jones. We find the house allud 
ed to in 1739. 

1731. There having been many complaints made 
concerning geese going at large, their spoiling the 
feed for cattle, and " fouling y e common springs of 
water," a vote was passed against their being let 
loose from April 1st to Nov. 1st, under penalty of 
one shilling for each offence. 

1732. Hon. William Tailer, Lieut. Governor, 
died March 1st, of this year. He was a nephew of 
Gov. Stoughton, and was buried in his tomb. Also 
died, March 2d, Mrs. Susannah, widow of Elder 
Hopestill Clap, aged about 80. Oct. 4th, Mr. James 
Foster died, in the 82d year of his age ; his wife Anna, 
five days before him ; and Oct. 22d, Dea. James 
Blake. The latter was the father of the Annalist, 
and had suffered for seven years with an ulcerous 
leg. Upon his grave-stone is the following inscrip 

" Seven Years Strong Pain doth end at last, 
His Weary Days & Nights are past ; 
The Way is Rough, y e End is Peace ; 
Short Pain gives place to endless Ease." 

1733. This year, a committee, chosen for the 
purpose, reported that they had sold the 1000 acres 
of school land in Lunenburg, to Benjamin Bird, 
for the sum of 400. 


1734. Blake, in his Annals, says that from the 
year 1657 to the end of this year a period of 78 
years there had been 2416 births, and 921 deaths 
in the town ; " which shows," he adds, " that many 
of y e People that were born in y e town moved out 
& died not here." The town increased but very 
slowly from 1657 to 1800. One cause of this was 
doubtless the wars, which at different times took off 
many of the men. Another was the various induce 
ments offered to settlers in other parts of the colony. 
At the seating of the meeting-house, in 1690, the 
names of all able to attend were inserted, and all 
expected to occupy the seats assigned them, unless 
in cases of great necessity. In that list, 171 men 
are enumerated, and 180 women ; "which seems to 
be as many," says Blake in 1734, " as can sit in 
those seats now." 

This year the town ordered that the bell be rung 
at nine o clock at night, and the custom was follow 
ed for about one hundred years. As early as 1663, 
the Boston bell was rung at nine o clock. It was 
customary then for young gentlemen and ladies to 
walk on the Common until that time, " when pre 
sently the constables walk the rounds to take up 
loose people." It was considered very necessary, in 
the early settlement, to have the most discreet and 
reliable men for constables. Yet it was an office 
that few were willing to accept, and a penalty was 
decreed against those who declined. Many paid 
their fines, rather than serve. About 1655, it be 
came so difficult to get proper persons to serve, espe 
cially in Boston, that the General Court gave that 


town liberty to raise the fine to 10, and other 
towns had liberty to raise it to 5. 

1735. This year the town offered a bounty of two 
pence on the heads of small striped squirrels. It 
was also voted to have a writing school in the south 
part of the town. Mr. Noah Clap was engaged to 
keep the town school this year. He had just gra 
duated at Harvard College, and was 17 years of 
age. According to the contract, either party had 
liberty to give up the engagement by a notice of 
three months ; but it was continued, and Mr. Clap 
kept the school at different times about eighteen 
or twenty years. 

4736. Mr. Mather Withington died Dec. 27th, 
of this year, aged 76. He had been one of the Se 
lectmen, and was much respected. On the 28th of 
April previous, his grandson, of the same name, died. 
The latter was a son of Ebenezer, was a candidate 
for the ministry, and had begun to preach. 

Oct. 8th, Elijah Danforth, M.D., son of Rev. John 
Danforth, died. Blake says, " He was a good and 
safe physician, and had been one of y e Justices of y 9 
Peace for the County of Suffolk for many years to 

This year it was " Voted, that whosoever shall kill 
brown rats, so much grown as to have hair on them, 
within y e town of Dorchester, y 6 year ensuing untill 
our meeting in May next, bring in their scalps with 
y e ears on, unto y e town treasurer, shall be paid by 
y e Town Treasurer Fourpence for every such rat s 



John Stiles had his last year s rate remitted, on 
account of the burning of his house. 

1737. This year the school was provided with 
wood by the town. It had long been the custom 
for parents or guardians to furnish it, at the rate of 
two feet of wood for each child. 

At the desire of Mr. Thomas Trott, lessee of the 
ministerial land, it was voted that the pear trees 
thereon be cut down and sold. It appears that 
these were native seedling trees, which in later years 
were found worthy of propagation. The beau 
tiful " iron pear " trees, now on the town s land at 
the Aims-House, were taken from that place, which, 
after 1662, was included in the town of Milton. 

1738. Nothing of importance transpired this 

1739. In January, Robert Spur, Esq. died, aged 
78 years. He had been one of the Selectmen eight 
years, and representative four years ; also a Lieuten 
ant Colonel " all which posts he managed with 
fidelity and applause," says Blake. He appears to 
have been quite a popular man in the town, and 
unusually liberal in his religious opinions. This 
latter trait frequently brought him in contact with 
the church authorities. His wife Elizabeth died July 
27th preceding. His residence was in the south 
part of the town, on the upper road to Milton, and 
near the estate owned by the late Rev. Dr. Codman. 

Several inhabitants of the town having petitioned 
to be set off to Dedham, it was agreed to, and the 
bounds fixed on the south side of the Church lot, it 
being the 41st lot in the " 3d division and a quar- 


ter." Those bounds remain to this day, and the 
First Church in Dorchester now owns the same piece 
which fell to it on the first allotment of these lands. 

This year the town began to consider the matter 
of building a new meeting-house. This was a work 
which then, as now, required much time to accom 
plish, some individuals concerned always consider 
ing the old one good enough. 

The town chose a committee to inquire whether 
the law in relation to the preservation and increase 
of deer was not violated. These animals were not 
numerous at this time, but were occasionally killed. 
Civilization had driven back, first the Indians, then 
the wild beasts ; animals such as deer, raccoon, foxes, 
and the like, were to follow, preparing the way for 
cities, to be walled in with brick and mortar, and 
giving ocular demonstration of the truth of the 

" God made the country, 
Man the town." 


Arrival and preaching of Rev. George Whitfield; its effects in the 
Church at Dorchester New Meeting-House Siege and Capture of 
Louisbourg Heavy drafts of men and money Excessive Drought 
Great Earthquake Death of General Hatch. 

1740. This was a memorable year in the history 
of the colonies, being the time of the arrival from Eng 
land of Rev. Geo. Whitfield. Although an itinerant 
minister, he was an educated man, from the Univer- 


sity of Oxford, and had entered into orders accord 
ing to the canons of the Church of England. That 
he was a remarkable preacher, none have pretended 
to deny. He left England for the purpose of estab 
lishing an Orphan House in Georgia ; and in order 
to raise funds for this purpose and friends to the 
cause, he travelled much, and went as far east as 
York, in the District of Maine. He arrived in Bos 
ton September 18th, and there secured the friend 
ship of Rev. Messrs. Colman, Sewall, Cooper, Webb, 
Prince, and others. His fame had preceded him, 
and there was great anxiety to hear him preach. 
The next afternoon he preached at the Brattle Street 
Church to a congregation of two or three thousand 
persons. There was great excitement on religious 
matters, which extended through the whole vicinity ; 
and this town suffered much by the dissensions caus 
ed thereby. The Dorchester people, as well as those 
from neighboring and more distant towns, flocked 
to Boston in great numbers to hear Mr. Whitfield. 
He frequently preached there twice a day, sometimes 
in meeting-houses, and sometimes in fields, as oppor 
tunity offered. At his farewell sermon, delivered 
on Boston Common, the number estimated to be 
present was from twenty to thirty thousand nearly 
twice the number of inhabitants then living in the 
town. There is a tradition in the family of one of 
the present owners of a part of Jones s Hill, that 
Mr. W. s voice, while preaching on the Common, 
was heard by people on the hill. This is by no 
means improbable, as his voice is represented as 
wonderfully clear and sonorous, and under favorable 


circumstances as to weather, little or nothing would 
then be likely to interrupt it in that neighborhood. 
It was probably his preaching that first led to eve 
ning lectures in this vicinity ; and the first stated 
evening lecture " in these parts," was preached 
at the Brattle Street Church, in Boston, by Kev. 
Dr. Colman, Oct. 21st, 1740. Mr. Whitfield, in his 
preaching, had great command over the passions and 
attention of his hearers, although he was careless, 
and even reckless, in some of his statements. His 
severity of judgment soon brought about him a for 
midable list of opponents, which somewhat checked 
his extravagance. Among the strongest of them 
were some of the officers of Harvard College, and 
President Thomas Clap, of Yale College. It is cer 
tain that there were troublesome times among the 
clergy and laity for a long time after Mr. Whit- 
field s visit, the old order of things being broken in 
upon, and many churches becoming filled with bick 
erings and divisions. Mr. Gilbert Tennant, of New 
Jersey, was a preacher of the same style as Mr. Whit- 
field, and soon followed him in his travels to the 
east, so that it was several years before the excite 
ment abated. Mr. Whitfield crossed the Atlantic 
several times, and finally died at Newburyport, Sun 
day morning, Sept. 30th, 1770. The day previous 
he preached in the fields at Exeter, N. H., to a great 
multitude of people. 

Probably no minister has made so great a sensa 
tion in this country since its settlement. Some of 
the effects thereof, in reference to this town, will be 
found under the year 1747. 


The weather was very unfavorable this year for 
corn. An early frost at first greatly damaged it ; 
then came a long season of wet weather, which 
spoiled a great part that had escaped the frost, so 
that there was very little good seed for the next 

This year the Province sent 500 soldiers to assist 
Admiral Vernon, at Jamaica, in carrying on the war 
with Spain. Blake says " We hear many or y e most 
of them are dead." 

The Manufactory or Land Bank bills were issued 
during this year. 

The winter of 1740 was exceedingly cold. The 
cold weather began early, continued long, and was 
attended with great quantities of snow. Blake says, 
" The sea w^as very much frozen, and there was 
abundance of travelling upon y e Ice. There was 
great Travelling from Boston to Castle William, and 
a Beaten Road in y e snow kept open, whereon in y e 
way stood two Tents for Entertainment : and Horses 
and Slays, as well as foot Folks, were Continually 
passing. And Sled-Loads of Hay came near Straight 
up from Spectacle Island. The Snow lay long, & 
made y e Spring backward ; I saw some drifts of 
Snow upon y e Islands, not quite Consumed, the 2d 
or 3d Day of May following." " It is not a little 
singular," says Prince, " that the frost broke up in 
Boston harbor, for seven successive years, on the 10th 
day of February; viz., in 1625, 26, 27, 28, 29, 
30 and 31." 

The town voted to enlarge the burying ground, 
by purchasing land of Robert Oliver. 


1741. Blake says, "This year there was a Scar 
city of Grain of all sorts : Wheat sold for 30s. per 
bushel, Eye 22s., & Indian Corn for 20s. per bushel 
paper Currency ; which is about one fourth of ye e 
Value of Proclamation Money." When grain was 
scarce then, they could not, as we can now, receive 
supplies from a range of many degrees of latitude 
and longitude. 

1742. To show the difficulty which the town had 
in finding suitable men to serve as constables, it 
may be mentioned that this year the following per 
sons were chosen for that office, viz., Preserved Ba 
ker, Nathaniel Clap, John Trott, John Humphrey, 
James Baker, Benjamin Everenden, and Thomas 
Baker, each of whom refused to serve, and paid his 
fine. Samuel Bishop and John Pierce, Jr. were 
finally elected, and served.* Several aged people 
died about this time; viz., John Trescott, in the 91st 
year of his age Rebecca, his wife, having died in 
her 90th year, in August preceding ; and on Sep 
tember 19th of this year, Mrs. Sarah, widow of 
Roger Billings, died in her 85th year. 

This year the Land Bank scheme was discontinu 
ed ; Parliament having passed an act abolishing it. 
The affair caused great trouble, and was the occasion 
of many law-suits. 

1743. On the 29th and 30th of June, of this year, 
the new meeting-house was raised. This was the build 
ing which many of the present generation remem- 

* In 1655, Edward Breck petitioned the General Court to have his fine 
of 4 remitted for not serving as constable j but the Court " saw no 
cause to grant his request." 


her. Its dimensions were 68 feet by 46, with a 
tower 14 feet square, and a steeple 104 feet high to 
the vane.* The cost of the building was 3567, 
10s. lid. old tenor. A sad affair happened at its 
raising, which cast a gloom over the otherwise hap 
py event ; this was the fall of Ephraim Wales (son 
of Jerijah and Sarah Wales) from one of the cross 
beams, causing his death the same night. The com 
mittee for building were James Foster, James Blake, 
Benjamin Bird, Esq., Thomas Bird and Capt. Thos. 
Wiswell. Edward Kilton, Robert Royal and Sam 
uel Gore were the master carpenters, and found the 
materials. This meeting-house was enlarged in 
1795, by dividing it along the ridge-pole, moving 
one half of it fourteen feet and the tower and stee 
ple seven feet, and uniting the two halves by new 

On July 7th, of this year, died Mrs. Relief, widow 
of Henry Leadbetter, in the 93d year of her age. 
She was a daughter of John Holland, one of the 
early settlers of this town, and her first husband was 
John Douse, of Charlestown. 

1744. Daniel Preston, Jr. was accidentally shot 
in his head at Thompson s Island, April 4th, and 
died immediately. 

Blake says, " This year, June y e 3d, on a Sabbath 
morning a little before our meeting began (I being 
then in y e Meeting-House), was a considerable shock 
of an earthquake, that shook y e meeting-house much, 
and throwed down some stone wall near by." 

* This vane is now on Dea. Ebenezer Clapp s barn, having been 
placed there in 1817, when the meeting-house above mentioned was 
succeeded by the present one. 


Dec. 2d. The first meeting was held in the new 
meeting-house, and Mr. Bowman preached from 
Psalm Ixxxiv. 1. Upon leaving the old house, the 
Sabbath before, he preached from Rev. iii. 3. 

1745. Thomas Tileston, Esq. died Oct. 21st, aged 
70 years and two days. He was a very prominent 
man in town ; had been a Representative about ten 
years, Selectman twenty-four years, and was also 
Justice of the Peace, and Lieutenant Colonel, which 
last office he reached by all the successive steps up 
wards, from Ensign. 

This year the famous expedition to Cape Breton 
sailed from Boston, March 24th. It consisted of 
about 4,000 men 3,000 from Massachusetts, and 
1,000 from New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Isl 
and, &c. They were met at Cape Breton by Com. 
Warren, with " about 7 or 8 men of war," and 
then they besieged and reduced Louisburgh. Win. 
Pepperell, Esq. was General of the land forces. Ma 
ny fine and richly laden French ships were taken, and 
the affair at that time was considered a great conquest, 
and caused much rejoicing ; but the lapse of years 
gives it a different appearance, and shows it to have 
been undertaken without sufficient cause. It also 
appears to have been carried on to a cruel and dis 
graceful termination, and the terms insisted upon by 
the victors were unnecessarily severe and degrading 
to their captives. The excuse was, that they were 
provoked to do so because the French at Cape Bre 
ton surprised and took Canso before they were ap 
prised of the war. An allusion to this siege is con 
tained in Longfellow s poem of " Evangeline." Quite 


a number of soldiers enlisted in this expedition from 
Dorchester, and a great part of the 3,000 from Mas 
sachusetts went from this vicinity. Although but 
few fell in battle, yet a large number died of a fever 
contracted after the victory. Blake, from whom this 
is principally gathered, says, " most that went from 
hereabouts that I knew, either died there, or in their 
passage home, or soon after they came home ; tis 
said there died of our New England forces about 
1,500 men." 

1746. For several years, about this time, the co 
lony was much distressed on account of the great 
draft made upon it for men and money. These were 
required, not only to carry on the expedition above 
named, but to defend the frontier from the many in 
cursions of the Indians, and also the country this year 
against the French fleet and army, consisting, as 
Blake says, " of about 30 Men of War and 67 Trans 
ports, besides Land Forces, Forty thousand Arms, 25 
Mortars, 50 Brass Field Pieces, &c. Many," he 
adds, " and I suppose y e greatest part of them, arriv 
ed at Jebucta in Nova Scotia, about y e middle of 
September, having set sail from Rochel or Rochford 
June y e llth." There were no less than 8,000 dis 
ciplined troops on board, and these were there to be 
joined, he says, by other troops, and the whole arma 
ment was expected to make an attack upon the 
northern English colonies. Much terror was very 
naturally felt by the people in and around Boston, 
and works of defence were actively engaged in, and, 
as Blake says, " prosecuted even on the Sabbath 
Days." About one half of the militia of the country 


were collected in " Boston and the lower towns." 
In the mean time a sickness broke out among the 
French troops, carrying off their chief commander 
and many of the men ; and on their sailing out of 
the harbor of Jebucta a severe storm occurred that 
cast away some of the ships and disabled others. 
The army were so dispirited by these disasters that 
" they returned to France without striking one blow." 
1747. This year the trouble, which had for some 
time been gathering in consequence of the preaching 
of Mr. Whitficld, was brought to a crisis, causing 
great trouble and expense in the Town and Church. 
Blake gives the following account of it. 

" The last winter 1746, some of y e members of this Church 
that had Separated from it, upon y e Commotion that Mr. White- 
field & those Itinerants that followed him had raised in y e Coun 
try about Religion ; and for their Separation, & Injurious Treat 
ment of y e Minister the Revd. Mr. Jona. Bowman and y e whole 
Church, were laid under the Censure of Admonition, & forbid 
to come to Communion until Repentance and Reformation ; 
Pressed y e Church to Joyn with them in calling a Council of 
Churches to Hear &t Advise upon their matters of Complaint 
& Grievance ; which after several debates y e Church agreed to, 
& also to bear all y e Charge of y e Council. The members 
were Isaac How, Edward Foster, Ebenezer Withington, Timo 
thy Tilestone, Naphtali Pierce &i Eben. Davenport, together 
with Benj. Bird, Esqr., who had been excommunicated by 
y e Church for Intemperate drinking, & thought himself very 
hardly dealt with, as also did y e Separate Brethren, of whose 
party y e S d Mr. Bird was, and a Chief Leader among them. 
It was agreed between y e Church & y e S d Brethren, that 
there should be Ten Churches sent to, and that each party 
should Choose five, (where they pleased) & if any of one side 
failed, y e same No. of y e other side should be taken off; & 


that y e Churches should be desired to send their Elder & one 
Messenger. Accordingly y e Church Chose Mr. Walter of Rox- 
bury, Mr. Barnard of Marblehead, Mr, Prescott of Salem, Mr. 
Gay of Hingham, & Mr. Tailor of Milton ; and y e other party 
Chose Mr. Leonard of Plymouth, Mr. Weld of Attleborough, 
Mr. Hobby of Reading, Mr. Rogers of Ipswich, & Mr. Cotton 
of Halifax ; (Three of whom, viz. Leonard, Weld & Cotton, 
had at y e desire of y e S d Party, assembled in a Private Council 
at one of their Houses several times before this), who together 
with their Delegates (Judge Dudley being with Mr. Walter) 
accordingly met at Dorchester, Tuesday, May 19th, 1747, all 
but Mr. Rogers of y e agrieved JBrethrens part (as they called 
themselves), and Mr. Gay went off upon y e Churches side to 
keep y e number equal. The Council being formed sat chiefly 
in the Meeting-house where was a Publick Hearing, & a great 
throng of People, many from other Towns. Mr. Walter was 
Moderator, but Mr. Barnard was his Assistant, who chiefly 
managed, by reason of y e Infirmities of old age rendering y e bu 
siness too tedious for Mr. Walter. The Council sat 4 Days, 
beginning on Tuesday & ending on Friday. They Patiently 
heard all that y e Parties had to say, and in their Result, Justified 
Mr. Bowman & y e Church in all their actions, &, Condemned 
y S (l Party & advised them & y e S d Mr. Bird to Submit & 
Return to y e Church &tc. Since which y e Church has been 
quiet, which before was continually disturbed with Letters & 
Charges from y e S (1 Brethren, & many Church meetings there 
about. But none of y e S d Party haue yet followed y e advice of 
the Council, but have till lately continued their Meetings at 
y e House of y e S d Eben. Withington ; where the S d Mr. Bird s 
Son (a young man that had staid 3 years at y e College & y e 4th 
year was Expelled being of their party) Preached to them untij 
last Fall, and now is ordained (as we hear) by two New-Light 
Ministers, (as they are called) over a Separate party in Dunsta- 
ble. I think at this present our Separate party have no Constant 
Meeting. And two days ago, viz. March 9th, 1747, the S d Ebe- 
n, Withington at whose House they use to meet Deceased, 


I think y e Charge of y e Council cost y c Church something more 
than One Hundred Pounds old tenor." 

1748.. This year grain was very scarce and high, 
partly occasioned by sending off so much to the 
French upon the cessation of arms, they heing very 
destitute. Indian corn sold for 32s. per bushel ; rye, 
. 46s. ; wheat, about 3 per bushel ; flour, about 10 
per hundred, in old tenor bills, which were about 
the seventh part of the value of proclamation money. 

1749. The town chose, this year, a new Clerk; 
Mr. James Blake having held that office for 24 years, 
with great fidelity and acceptance. He was a faith 
ful and discreet man, and one of the most accurate 
surveyors of his time. His services as surveyor were 
in demand throughout the vicinity, and his plans at 
this day are of great value, as evidence in the Courts, 
his reputation having continued through the inter 
vening generations. He felt slighted and greatly 
aggrieved at being left out of his office at the an 
nual election this year, as his own account will show. 
The matter proves that towns as well as republics 
are ungrateful ; and also that, as we grow old, we 
cannot or do not see our own weaknesses and imper 
fections as others see them. His own account of the 
matter may be found at page 67 of the published 
edition of his " Annals." Noah Clap, A. M., was 
chosen his successor, and, like his predecessor, filled 
the office with great faithfulness for many years. 

May 10th. Peace with France and Spain was 
proclaimed at Boston. 

Sept. 18th. Capt. Montague arrived at Boston to 


reimburse to the Province its expenses at Cape 
Breton. The sum was 183,649 2s. 7M. 

During the summer of this year there was a 
drought, which appears to have been of longer con 
tinuance, and therefore more severely felt, than any 
which has been recorded since. Blake gives the 
following graphic account of it. 

" This Summer was the Severest Drought in this Country, 
as has ever been known in y e Memory of y e oldest Persons 
among us. It was a dry Spring, and by y e latter end of May 
the grass was burnt up so that y e ground looked white ; and it 
was y e 6th day of July before any Rain (to speak of) came. 
The Earth was dried like Powder to a great depth, and many 
Wells, Springs, Brooks &i small Rivers were dried up, that 
were never known to fail before. And the Fish in. some of 
y e Rivers died. The Pastures were so scorched that there was 
nothing green to be seen, and the Cattle waxed poor, & by 
their lowing seemed to call upon their Owners for Relief, who 
could not help them. Although the dry Grass was Eaten so 
close as that there was but a few thin spires to be seen, yet 
several Pastures took fire, and burnt fiercely. My Pasture took 
fire near y e Barn (by a Boys dropping a Coal of fire, as he was 
carrying fire to y e water-side) and tho there seemed to be so 
little Grass, yet what there was, and y e ground, was so dry that 
it blazed and flushed like Gun-Powder, and run very fast along 
y e ground, and in one place burnt some fence ; and we were 
forced to work hard to keep it from y e Barn, & to extinguish it ; 
having y e help of sundry men that happened to be here. It 
spread over about half an Acre of Ground before we could stop 
it ; and where there was lumps of Cow-dung it would burn till 
y e whole lump was Consumed, Si burn a hole in y e ground ; and 
we were forced to use much water to quench it. There was a 
great scarcity of Hay, being but a very little cut, of y e first 
Crop ; & salt marsh failed near as much as the English Mea- 


dow. English Hay was then sold for 3 & 3 10 old tenor 
per Hundred. Barley & Oats were so Pinched that many had 
not much more than their seed again, & many cut down their 
S (l Grain before it was ripe for Fodder. Flax almost wholly 
failed, as also Herbs of all sorts ; and Indian Corn Rolled up 
& wilted ; and there was a melancholly prospect of the greatest 
Dearth that ever was known in this Land. In the time of our 
fears & Distress, the Government ordered a Day of Public 
Fasting &t Prayer ; and God was graciously pleased to hear & 
Answer our Prayers, even in a very remarkable manner : for 
about y c 6th of July the course of y e weather altered ; and there 
came such plentiful & seasonable Rains, as quite altered y e face 
of y e Earth ; and that Grass which we generally concluded was 
wholly dead, and could not corne again under several Years, 
was revived, and there was a good second Crop of Mowing ; it 
looking more like y e Spring than that season of y e Year : and 
y e Indian Corn recovered, & there was a very good Harvest. 
And whereas it was thought in y e fall of the Year that a multi 
tude of Cattle must Die for want of Meat, insomuch as they 
sent and fetched Hay from England : yet God in his Providence 
Ordered us a moderate Winter, and we were carried comforta 
bly through it ; and I did not hear of many, if any, Cattle that 
died. But by reason of so many Cattle being killed off last 
fall, Beef, Mutton & Butter are now in May, 1750, very dear: 
Butter is 7s. 6d. old tenor per Pound. Upon y e coming of 
y e Rains & Renewing of y e Earth last fall, the Government 
appointed a Day of Publick Thanksgiving." 

1750. On the 4th of December, of this year, died 
James Blake, author of the " Annals of Dorchester." 
He was son of Deacon James Blake, who died Oct. 
22, 1732 ; grandson of Elder James, who died Jnne 
28, 1700; /and great-grandson of William Blake, 
the first settler of that name in this town, and the 
ancestor of most of the name in the country. It is 


truly wonderful, in looking over the old documents 
in the Town Clerk s office, as well as many private 
papers found in old garrets, and Probate, Church 
and State records, to see how much writing and 
work this man accomplished. He was very correct 
in all his plans and in all his statements, and at his 
death his loss was severely felt. He was also greatly 
esteemed by his contemporaries for his learning and 
piety. He had the principal charge of the affairs of 
the Proprietors of the Undivided Lands for many 
years, and drafted with great ingenuity the tables 
for collecting the Province and Town taxes, many 
of which are now in existence. 

1751. This year Parliament passed the act by 
which the old style of computing time was altered 
to the new. Eleven days were by this act to be ta 
ken from September, 1752. It also provided that 
the fkst day of January should be the first day of 
the year, instead of March 25th, as formerly. This 
last change accounts for the double dates so often 
found between these two periods. 

June 17th. A hail storm, with "hail as large as 
swan s eggs." 

1752. It was very sickly in town this year and 
the latter part of 1751, the sickness being caused 
principally by pleurisy and nervous fever. Jan. 23d 
was kept as a day of fasting and prayer by the 
Church, on that account. " There died 15 persons 
(of the above pleurisy and fever) in less than two 
months, besides what died of other distempers, y e 
most of them well hearty persons, and many of them 
of middle age." The mortality in Boston was also 


very great, being 624 deaths in a population of 

There was an attempt made this year, by petitions 
to the General Court from the people of Attlebo- 
rough, Norton and Easton, to get the boundary line 
of the town altered. This town opposed it by a 
Committee, in connection with Committees from 
Stoughton and Wrentham, and the petition was dis 
missed. Had it been granted, several thousand 
acres would have been taken from Stoughton and 

June 18th, of this year, the new bell was hung in 
the meeting-house. It was the gift of the Proprie 
tors of the Undivided Lands, formerly in the town of 
Dorchester but then in the town of Stoughton. It 
was imported from Bristol, England, weighed 785 
pounds, and cost the proprietors fifty pounds sterling. 
It is the same bell which now hangs in the meeting 
house of the First Parish. 

The small pox was in Boston this year, and caused 
the death of 561 persons ; 31 of them having the 
disease by inoculation, and 530 the common way. 
Of those who were inoculated, there died about one 
in 85 ; and of those who took it the natural way, 
about one in 10. Seven persons had it in Dorches 
ter, one of whom died, viz., Mr. Robert Searl, aged 
about 80 years. 

Oct. 7th, Ebenezer Cox was drowned in our har 
bor by the upsetting of a boat. 

Sept. 23d. Began to read the Scriptures in Dor 
chester meeting-house, as a part of public worship. 

1753. From this time, Dorchester was compara* 


tively quiet for many years. The successive wars, 
and the emigration from the town to other parts, 
allowed it to increase but very slowly in population,* 
and few of its inhabitants could obtain more than a 
comfortable livelihood. It was, as it were, the close 
of the Puritanic age. The first settlers and their 
children slept with their fathers, and the leaven of 
other people w r as slowly but surely amalgamating 
with their posterity. A more unrestrained indul 
gence of the imagination and the affections began to 
be shown, instead of that rigid strictness of feeling 
and manners peculiar to the Puritans. In matters 
of religion there was not that exact conformity to 
the recognized standard which had been considered 
indispensable, and, under a feeling of new inspira 
tion, men looked forward from the dim present to 
new developments, more expansive views, and a 
brighter day. It is well known that there was a 
difference in religious views bet\veen the people of 
Plymouth Colony and the settlers of the Bay; the 
former being of the party called Separatists, and the 
latter Non-conformists. The Separatists had, after 
much persecution, left the Church of England for 
good. They had the fire of determination, minds 
obstinate to defend the truth, and anathemas for 
their opponents. Therefore they said, when they 
left England, " Farewell, Babylon ! Farewell Rome !" 
But the Puritans, in the words used by that man of 
God, Rev. Francis Higginson, of Salem, as he em 
barked on board the vessel and took a parting look 

# The number of Whites in the Colonies in 1753 was about 1,000,000. 


at his native hills and his dear friends, said, " Fare 
well, England ! Farewell the Church of God in 
England and all the Christian friends there ! " 

In 1755, there was a great earthquake, which oc 
casioned much fright all over the vicinity. Many 
buildings in Boston were thrown down, and 1,500 
chimneys shattered or overturned. Mather Byles 
says, " it was a terrible night ; the most so, perhaps, 
that ever New England saw."* 

Gen. Estes Hatch died Feb. 6th, 1759. He was 
a prominent man in town, had held the principal 
military offices, and at the time of his death was 
Brigadier General of Horse. His wife was Mary, 
daughter of Rev. Benjamin E-olfe. She died Oct. 
21st, 1763. Her father and mother were both killed 
by the Indians, at their house in Haverhill, Aug. 
29th, 1708; also their youngest child. Mary and 
her sister were saved by the courage and sagacity of 
Hagar, a negro slave. Upon the first alarm she 
leaped from her bed, carried them to the cellar, 
covered each of them with a tub, and then secreted 
herself. The Indians ransacked the cellar, took 
every thing of value to them, repeatedly passed the 
tubs, and even trod on the foot of one of the chil 
dren, without discovering them. They drank milk 
from the pans, then broke them in pieces ; and took 
meat from the barrel behind which Hagar was con 
cealed. Anna Whittaker, an inmate of the family, 
concealed herself in an apple chest under the stairs, 
and escaped unharmed. Mary was born March 9th, 

* Drake s History of Boston. 


1695; Elizabeth, her sister, Sept. 1st, 1699. The 
latter married Rev. Samuel Checkley, the first minis 
ter of Church Green, Boston. Miss Sarah Hatch, 
the only daughter of the above, died Sept. 25th, 
1779, aged 56 years. They are all deposited in Gen. 
Hatch s tomb, in the old burying-ground in Dor 
chester, which tomb is entirely under ground, with 
the grass now growing fresh above it.* 


Colonial Events preceding the Revolution Great Celebration in Dor 
chester Patriotic Resolutions by the Town Rev. Jonathan Bowman 
Rev. Moses Everett Drafting of Soldiers for the War Fortifying 
of Dorchester Heights Small-pox Hospitals. 

IN 1761, the great cause in the matter of Writs 
of Assistance was argued before the Court in Boston. 
It might be called the opening act of the Revolu 
tion. James Otis made the great argument against it. 
It was " performed with such profusion of learning, 
such convincing argument, and such a torrent of 
sublime and pathetic eloquence, that a great crowd 
of spectators and auditors went away absolutely elec 
trified, "f He was truly a remarkable man, the idol 
of the people throughout the colony, and astonished 
the whole country by his wonderful genius, united 
with great prudence and sagacity. 

May 19th, 1766, was a day of general rejoicing 
throughout the colony, on account of the repeal of 

* See History of Haverhill, p. 121. f Drake s History of Boston. 


the Stamp Act, news of which arrived May 16th. 
The demonstrations in Boston were strangely enthu 
siastic. Gov. Bernard, supposed to be the only co 
lonial Governor opposed to that infamous act, parti 
cipated in the general rejoicings so far as to walk 
about the streets and on the Common to see the pro 
ceedings. From this time to the breaking out of 
the Revolution, the people of the colony were in a 
high state of excitement. In 1767 the town of 
Dorchester voted to encourage the produce and 
manufactures of the country, and lessen the use of 
foreign superfluities. 

Sept. 30th, 1768, the vessels of war with the long- 
expected British troops sailed into Boston harbor, 
making, with one or two already there, twelve in 
number. They anchored off the North End, and 
made a formidable display. This was another of the 
impolitic movements of the British ministry, and 
helped to keep alive the spirit of irritation. It was 
difficult to find places to quarter so many soldiers ; 
and from this time to the evacuation of the town, 
there were continued outbreaks and tumults between 
the troops and citizens, also between the town au 
thorities and the officers. Joshua Henshaw, one of 
the Selectmen of Boston, a descendant of one of the 
early citizens of Dorchester, was an able man, a firm 
" Son of Liberty," and left nothing undone which 
would make the condition of the soldiers uncom 

Nov. 3d, 1768, John Hancock, another great fa 
vorite of the people, was arrested to answer to the 
charge of smuggling wine from his sloop Liberty, by 


a party of the citizens of Boston, some time in June 
previous. It is not presumed that the government 
thought Mr. Hancock committed the fraud, but be 
ing owner of the vessel, he was compelled to answer 
for it. The popularity of the man made it expedi 
ent to postpone the arrest until the arrival of the 
troops. The individual who made the arrest was 
Arodi Thayer, who then held the office of Marshal 
of the Court of Admiralty. Although Mr. Thayer 
was then on the unpopular side of the great ques 
tion of the day, he bore the character of a sincere 
Christian and downright honest man. All of the 
latter part of his life he was a resident of Dorches 
ter, and is well remembered by many of its citizens, 
on account of his quaint language, his cocked hat, 
long stockings, and knee and shoe buckles, which 
created great astonishment among the young people 
of that day. He died May 7th, 1831, aged 88 yrs. 
and 2 months. His commission and badge of office 
(a silver oar) are deposited with the Dorchester An 
tiquarian and Historical Society. 

Aug. 14th, 1769, "the Union and Association of 
the Sons of Liberty in this Province " was celebrat 
ed with great applause. The "Sons" met at Li 
berty Tree in Boston, " where they drank fourteen 
toasts," and then adjourned to Liberty Tree Tavern, 
known as Robinson s Tavern, in Dorchester, where 
they dined at 2 o clock. From 300 to 350 sat down 
to tables spread in the field under a tent. There 
were "three large pigs barbacued," and other pro 
vision in abundance. Forty-five toasts were given 
on the occasion, the last of which was " Strong 


halters, firm blocks and sharp axes to all such as de 
serve either." All " gentlemen of distinction from 
other colonies, known to be in Town, had cards of 
invitation sent them." " Mr. Balch s mimicry," the 
Liberty Song, and a song by Dr. Church, greatly 
pleased the company. At 5 o clock, P. M., the Bos 
ton people started for home, led off by Mr. Hancock 
in his chariot. John Adams (from whose diary most 
of this is collected) was present, and says, " To the 
honor of the Sons, I did not see one person intoxi 
cated, or near it." 

In 1770, the town complimented the merchants 
of Boston, who had agreed not to import certain ar 
ticles while the duty remained on them such as 
glass, paper, &c. and voted not to purchase goods 
of those importers who would not come into such 
arrangements ; also not to drink tea, except in case 
of sickness, until the duty was removed. 

This year (1770), Col. Eben r Clapp presented the 
town with a very showy and valuable clock. It was 
put up in the meeting-house, and remained there 
until 1817. The meeting-house being taken down 
that year, it was placed in the Town House, where 
it remains to this day. 

In 1771, the inhabitants of that portion of the 
town known as " The Farms," petitioned to be set 
off to Braintree, but Dorchester would not agree to 
it. The land was finally annexed to Quincy. 

Jan. 4, 1773, the town unanimously passed nine 
resolutions, taking a very decided and patriotic stand 
in relation to colonial affairs. They represented 
that the attempts by the British Parliament to im- 


pose upon the inhabitants of the colonies laws with 
out their consent, was a lawless usurpation ; that 
the wresting from the control of the Province its 
principal fortress (the Castle) was a great grievance ; 
that a late act of Parliament to hurry persons from 
their country for trial, " appears to come little short 
of any court of inquisition ;" and other resolves of a 
similar character. They also gave their sincere and 
hearty thanks to the people of Boston for their con 
stant watch of the enemies of the country. These 
resolves are drawn up with great ability, and the 
patriotic sentiments therein contained might well 
put to blush many of their descendants. The Castle 
was a fortress in which this town had always felt 
especial interest. It was nearer to its borders than 
to any other place ; the town had assisted largely 
in its erection, and in a great measure nursed and 
provided for it in its infancy, and it was long under 
the command of one of its favorite sons. The town 
at this same meeting chose a Committee of Corres 
pondence viz., Capt. Lemuel Robinson, Capt. John 
Romans and Samuel How. This and similar com 
mittees of other towns performed a very important 
part in the movements of the times. 

A, number of carpenters from Dorchester having 
gone to Boston to assist in building barracks for the 
British soldiers, in 1774, the town, by a vote,, desired 
them to desist, or incur its displeasure. At this time 
there was a public opinion in regard to the disputes 
between Great Britain and the colonies that swept all 
before it, and a gentle hint only, in many cases, was 
necessary to insure exact compliance. 


After a ministry of about -44 years, a disaffection 
with the Rev. Mr. Bowman, the minister of the town, 
which had been slowly growing, broke out into an 
open warfare. It is difficult at this time to say how 
far each of the parties was to blame. A large ma 
jority of the members cf the Church appear to have 
been opposed to Mr. Bowman, or at least had made 
up their minds that they could no longer be peace 
fully connected with him. In laying this matter 
before the public, we shall consult all the evidence 
at hand, and endeavor to be as just and impartial 
as possible. 

From the Church Records, it appears that Mr. 
Bowman had become very stubborn in maintaining 
his own opinions and rights, without regarding those 
of his people. Clergymen in those days, we know, 
were men of authority ; but he had been connected 
with the people of Dorchester so long, and knew 
them so well, it is strange that such a misunder 
standing should have occurred. The first instance 
of blame openly laid to his charge, that we have any 
account of, was his refusal to baptize a child of Mr. 
Paul Hall, in March, 1773. There had previously 
been some gossip about his preaching too short ser 
mons (a complaint not common in these days), fre 
quently not exceeding, it was said, from fifteen to 
eighteen minutes ; also that he too frequently preach 
ed old sermons, and did not insist enough on the 
doctrines of original sin, regeneration and self- 
denial. It appears that Mr. Paul Hall improved 
some land adjoining Mr. Bowman s yard and barn, 
and shot his fowls certainly a provoking act, and 



ono which has been the cause of much trouble both 
before and since that time. When Mr. Hall brought 
his child for baptism, Mr. Bowman refused to per 
form the ceremony ; whereupon Mr. II., probably 
under a state of excitement, exclaimed openly, " I 
demand baptism for the child." This, as may be sup-" 
posed, caused great disturbance and clamor in the 

Another of the complaints was, that at church- 
meetings, when motions were made and seconded, 
he would refuse to put the same to vote, unless they 
coincided with his opinion ; also that he claimed the 
right, and actually did exercise it, to adjourn and 
dissolve meetings at his own pleasure, once even 
when he was not present. He was also found fault 
with for not baptizing a child of Mr. John Goif, and 
a child (living in 1856) of Mr. Samuel Payson. 

On the part of Mr. Bowman, it was urged that he 
looked upon the act of Mr. Hall in shooting his 
fowls as mmeighborly and injurious, and had sent 
to him, desiring that he would refrain from doing 
him mischief, and that he would pay Mr. H. for all 
the damage done by his fowls ; likewise, that when 
the latter came on Sunday morning to apprise him 
that he should carry his child for baptism in the 
afternoon, Mr. Bowman told him that he had 
" grounds of uneasiness," and requested him to 
postpone the ceremony one week, which Mr. H. re 
fused to do, and declared that he would carry it that 
afternoon ; also that Mr. B. requested one of his 
brethren to go to Mr. Hall between the morning and 
afternoon service, but he still persisted. It was 


likewise said, on the part of Mr. Bowman, that there 
were misstatements in relation to his proceedings at 
the meetings of the Church ; that at some of the 
meetings he was unwell, and not able to attend, and 
at another was absent at a funeral. His health was 
also said to be feeble, and he was not able to preach 
long sermons ; besides, lie was cautioned by his pre 
decessor, Mr. Danforth, at his ordination, not to be 
too long and tedious in his sermons ; likewise, that 
he spoke fast, and would deliver as much in fifteen 
minutes as some would in half an hour. 

The principal persons in the Church who were 
engaged in this controversy, were Deacons Abijah 
White, Richard Hall and Samuel Topliff; Noah 
Clap, William Holden, Esq., Capt. Lemuel Robin- 
son, Abraham Wheeler, Samuel How, Ezekiel Tol- 
man, Roger Clap, Bernard Capen, Edward Preston, 
John Humphrey, Timothy Wales, Jonathan Leeds, 
John Pierce, Jr., Abraham Howe and others. Mr. 
Noah Clap was chosen to sign the documents in be 
half of the Church ; an office which he would gladly 
have declined, but they refused to excuse him. His 
character for mildness, discretion, and tmdeviating 
justice, perhaps led him to believe that the pastor 
was too severely dealt with. Mr. Bowman was a 
friend of his ; he often preached in Mr. B. s pulpit, 
and desired to live with him in the bonds of Christ 
ian fellowship. The Church, on the other hand, 
knowing Mr. Clap s acquaintance with all the peo 
ple concerned, his knowledge of their whole history, 
his accuracy in keeping records, his standing among 
the neighboring clergy, a number of whom were his 


classmates in college, persisted in his holding that 
position, for which they remunerated him by paying 
him four pounds and one guinea. 

There were other matters brought into this con 
troversy, such as the representative of the town get 
ting the worse for drink ; Paul Hall s marketing a 
hog that had been bitten by a mad dog, and other 
stories and side issues, denied as strongly as affirmed, 
which it is not expedient again to bring before the 

The sermon preached by Mr. Bowman in March, 
1772, from the words, " He that despiseth you. des- 
piseth me," was a cause of offence, and certainly 
was very plain, and not liable to be misunderstood. 
The following notice of it, from the Church Re 
cords, was laid before the Council : " Those that 
despise the faithful ministers of Christ, despise Christ 
himself. Great part of the time was spent well im 
proving that those that despise the ministers of 
Christ, despise Christ. Then the llev. Mr. Bowman 
goes on and says, that this town has been remarka 
ble for a ministerial people ; the memory of many 
who are dead and gone is precious with me ; from 
many of you I used to receive annual favors, of which 
I still retain a grateful resentment ; though some seem 
to have lost their first love, for what reason I cannot 
tell. I have seen more of an anti-ministerial spirit 
prevailing this last seven years, than in all the five 
times seven years of my ministry before, and if such 
a spirit should prevail, no Gospel minister could 
have much peace or comfort in the town. I ihink 
I have been shorter than usual, though I believe too 


long for some of my hearers. No doubt by this 
time many will be inquisitive who this discourse is 
pointed at. I tell in few words ; those that despise 
this sermon, or disparage the author on account of 
it, I will say to them, as Nathan to David, 4 Thou 
art the man/ 

All these matters combined, made great excitement 
in the town, and led to the calling of a large and 
influential Council, at the mutual desire of the Pas 
tor and Church. It convened at Dorchester, No 
vember 16th, 1773, and continued, by several ad 
journments, to the following December 14th. The 
Church, and the Parish (then including the whole 
town), were in session many days on the same busi 
ness. After a patient hearing .of the case, the Coun 
cil came to an agreement, which was published at 
length, the concluding part and substance of which 
was as follows : 

Upon the whole it appears to this Council, after having 
fully heard the above articles, and the evidence adduced in 
support of them, and having well weighed the same, that 
however blame-worthy the Rev. Mr. Bowman may have been, 
still he hath not forfeited his Ministerial character. Not 
withstanding which, considering the state of things in this 
Church and town, the Council do, from a sincere regard to 
Pastor, Church and People, the peace and prosperity of this 
place, and the advancement of the kingdom of Christ, advise 
the Rev. Mr. Bowman to ask an immediate dismission from 
his pastoral relation, and the Church to grant it. But inas 
much as the Council have given it as their opinions, that from 
what appears to them, Mr. Bowman hath not forfeited his 
ministerial character, they further give it as their judgment, 
that there is no objection to his public preaching in any other 

In fine the Council lament the unhappy differences that 
have lately subsisted in this place, and at the same time can 
not but express their satisfaction, that both parties have con 
sented to ask for the Council and advice of sister Churches 


in their difficult and perplexed circumstances : A method as 
they apprehend perfectly consonant to the gospel, and con 
sidered by their venerable fathers, in the platform, as an or 
dinance of Christ, for healing the divisions of his Church. 
They hope both the Pastor and the People, will candidly 
receive the advice they now offer, as the result of their best 
judgment, and Christian tenderness for both, that all ani 
mosities between them may be allayed, all past offences mu 
tually forgiven and forgotten : and that brotherly love, so 
particularly recommended by our common Lord to his Disci 
ples, and so ornamental to the Christian profession, and neces 
sary to the success of the gospel, may be revived and most 
carefully cultivated. 

While they hope the Rev. Mr. Bowman will make suitable 
reflections upon every part of his conduct, that may have 
deserved any degree of blame : they at the same time sym 
pathize with him, under the troubles that attend the evening 
of his days, and sincerely wish it may be brightened, with 
the comforts of that gospel he has so long preached to others. 

His People they trust will most seriously consider whether 
they also have not contributed to the divided and unhappy 
state, in which they now find themselves, and take every step 
prescribed in the gospel of peace, that they may be delivered 
from it. To them the Council devoutly wish the fulness of the 
blessing of the gospel ; and, should they be led, by divine 
providence, to the choice of another Pastor, that the troubles 
they have passed through may be lost and forgotten, in the 
long enjoyment of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy 
Ghost. A true Copy, 



Subsequently to the proceedings of the Council, 
the Church endeavored to obtain their Records, then 
in Mr. Bowman s possession. They chose a com 
mittee to demand them, hut he evaded it. They 
then voted to demand them " in a course of law." 
The book containing the deaths during his ministry 
was recovered, but not the others, which is a serious 
loss to the town. Mr. Bowman died March, 30, 1775, 
aged 68. 

After the dismission of Mr. Bowman, Ilev. Moses 


Everett was invited to preach upon trial ; and on 
May 27th, 1771, he was unanimously chosen by the 
Church to he its pastor, having all the votes cast, 
viz., 52. This choice the town confirmed, and he 
was ordained Sept. 28th, 1774. The Churches in 
vited to assist in the ordination, were the First 
Church in Stoughton ; the Church in Milton ; the 
Church in Boston under the pastoral care of Dr. 
Elliot ; Rev. Mr. Bnlch s Church in Dedham ; 
Church in Ipswich, Rev. Mr. Cutler s ; Third Church 
in Roxbury ; and Dr. Cooper s and the Old South 
Churches in Boston. On the 6th of December, 1774, 
Mr. Everett removed from Dedham to Dorchester 
with his wife. About seventy men and women ac 
companied them ; and when they arrived at Mr. 
Everett s house, they found about the same number 
of Dorchester people, " where there was a most 
elegant dinner prepared," and where they all, both 
minister arid people, had a joyful time, every thing 
being " carried on with decency and good harmony." 
Mr. Everett was born in Dedham, July 15, 1750, 
and was the youngest but one of nine children. He 
preached in Dorchester with great acceptance for 
eighteen years, when his declining health made it 
necessary for him to resign, and in 1793 he request 
ed and obtained a dismission. The next year he 
was chosen a representative of the town, soon after 
was appointed a special Justice of the Court of Com 
mon Pleas of Norfolk County, and in 1808 was 
appointed to fill a vacancy on the bench of that 
Court, occasioned by the death of his brother, Oliver 
Everett, Esq. He filled the office with wisdom and 


integrity, and to the satisfaction of the public. He 
was an active and interested member of the Church 
after he ceased to be its minister, and was a delegate 
to most of the ordinations to which the Church was 
invited ; but the latter part of his life he w r as very 
feeble, and he had several shocks of paralysis. He 
died March 25th, 1813, leaving a widow and ten 
children one by his first wife, one by his second, 
and eight by his third. 

Dorchester was one of the towns which early 
voted to pay its Province tax into the hands of Hen 
ry Gardner, of Stow, who was the treasurer for the 
Sons of Liberty, instead of Harrison Gray, the trea 
surer under the Crown. This was in 1774, and at 
the same meeting, a committee was chosen to post 
up the names of those who sold or made use of 
East India tea. How much comfort as well as trou 
ble has come through the use of this pleasant but 
expensive weed, since its introduction into Europe 
in 1679 ! For a long time after it was brought into 
the colonies it w r as considered a great luxury, but at 
this time had become so indispensable that supper 
without it w r as thought but half a meal, because it 
made its partakers feel so cheerful and their tongues 
" so merrily run." Suddenly, however, it had become 
with the majority a prohibited beverage. On account 
of being brought to the port of Boston subject to 
duties which the people had determined should 
never be paid, several cargoes of it had been thrown 
into the harbor, the chests containing it being first 
broken open, and the whole mass was thus liable to 
be carried by the winds and tides to various and dis- 


tant places. Some of it found its way into this 
town, and caused no little trouble. The follow 
ing account is from the Essex Gazette of January 
4th, 1774. "Whereas it was reported that one 
Withington, of Dorchester, had taken up and partly 
disposed of a chest of the East India Company s tea, 
a number of the Cape or Narraganset Indians went 
to the house of Capt. Ebenezer Withington, and his 
brother Philip Withington (both living on the lower 
road from Boston to Milton), last Friday evening, 
and with their consent thoroughly searched their 
houses, without offering the least offence to any one. 
But finding 110 tea, they proceeded to the house of 
old Ebenezer Withington, at a place called Sodom, 
below Dorchester Meeting-house, where they found 
part of a half chest which had floated, and was cast 
upon Dorchester point. This they seized and brought 
to Boston Common, where they committed it to the 

March 10, 1775, the town passed a vote requiring 
all the inhabitants thereof, liable to do military duty, 
to assemble on a certain day, with arms and ammu 
nition, to be reviewed, to see who would enlist, and 
who would hold themselves in readiness as minute 
men. This was at the time the fortifications on 
Dorchester Heights were about being completed. 

There were then nine dwelling houses on the Neck, 
now South Boston, the location of each of which 
may be seen by consulting a map now in the posses 
sion of the Massachusetts Historical Society, drawn 
by order of the British General then in Boston ; also 
the road and principal trees. The occupants of these 


houses were Mrs. Foster, Mr. Bird, Mr. Deluce. Mr, 
Williams, Mr. Farrington, Mr. Harrington, John 
Wiswall, Dea. Blake and Oliver Wiswall. Mrs. 
Foster s house was one of the best in the neighbor 
hood, and it was difficult to convince the continen- 
tallers that it did not belong to a tory, as some of the 
rooms were even papered, which was considered very 
luxurious in those days. This house was the most 
westerly, and Dea. Blake s the most easterly, of any 
on the peninsula, and these were both burnt by the 
British, who now had possession of Boston 

For a long time the English officers had their 
attention fixed on what they denominated, on their 
plan, the twin hills, with the intention of fortifying 
them ; but while they were waiting reinforcements 
enough to hazard it, the good judgment of Gen. 
Washington prompted him to secure the hills, and 
he improved the opportunity. The building ,of the 
forts here, under his direction, undoubtedly saved 
Boston from destruction ; for Congress, after a seri 
ous debate, had given him authority to destroy it, 
notwithstanding the property and friends within it. 
Washington rode out to Dorchester, and selected the 
farm of Capt. John Homans, in the upper part of 
the town, as a suitable place to obtain fascines, or 
bundles of white birch faggots, with which to con 
struct a fort, which must of necessity be done secretly. 
It was in March, and the ground so much frozen that 
earth could not be used, even had there been time for 
it. A lieutenant and thirty men were detached to cut 
and make the fascines, and the citizens of this and 
the neighboring towns were called upon to cart 


them, on the night of the 4th, to the heights. About 
three hundred teams are supposed to have been em 
ployed for this purpose, under the special charge of 
Mr. Goddard, of Brookline, and Mr. James Boies, 
of Dorchester. The late Mr. William Sumner, of 
Dorchester, so well remembered by many now liv 
ing, drove one team. He carried five loads before 
day-light, and remembered it with great satisfaction 
to his last days. No man was allowed to speak 
above a whisper, and thus the work went on silently, 
and unknown to the enemy, whose attention was in 
the mean time attracted elsewhere by a constant can 
nonading kept up from the American camp at Cam 
bridge and Roxbury. It was one of the most for 
midable acts in the Revolution, and was accomplish 
ed in an incredibly short space of time. So sure 
was Gen. Washington that this work would bring 
on a battle, that he had two thousand bandages pre 
pared with which to dress the wounded. Gen. Howe 
wrote to Lord Dartmouth, that " it must have been 
the employment of at least twelve thousand men." 
He is also reported to have said, " The rebels 
have done more in one night than my whole army 
would have done in a month." 

Dorchester Neck, in its topographical appearance, 
was very uneven, abounding in hills and valleys.* 
Nook hill, in the north-west part of it, less than half 
a mile from the Heights, was a very important loca 
tion for a battery, on account of its proximity to 

* We are indebted to Mr. Thomas C. Simonds, of South Boston, for much 
valuable information in relation to the history of that peninsula. 


Boston. Gen. Howe perceived this, and undoubt 
edly intended to occupy it, and to dislodge the con 
tinental army, or at least to prevent their use of it. 
The place where this hill then was, is the spot on 
which now stands the Lawrence School-house. It 
was an eminence fifty feet or upwards above the sea. 
Washington made up his mind to fortify it, and on 
Saturday night, March 9th, sent a detachment for 
that purpose. It w T as one of those cold and bluster 
ing nights so common at that season of the year, and 
the soldiers were so imprudent as to build a fire for 
their comfort. This was seen by the British in Bos 
ton, who opened a severe fire upon them, principally 
from their battery near what is now the corner of 
Washington and Dover Streets. Four soldiers, and a 
surgeon by the name of Dole, were killed, and the 
troops obliged to suspend operations for that time. 
Mrs. Adams, in her Letters, refers to this night in 
the following manner. " Sunday evening, March 10 
A most terrible and incessant cannonade from 
half after eight till six this morning. I hear we lost 
four men killed and some wounded in attempting to 
take the hill nearest the town, called Nook s Hill." 

At a council of war held at the head quarters of 
Gen. Ward, in Roxbury, it was decided to fortify 
this place, at whatever cost ; and on Saturday night, 
March 16th, a large detachment was ordered out 
for that purpose. The British again opened upon 
them a heavy cannonading ; but, nothing daunted, 
they kept briskly at work, and during the night 
erected a substantial fortification, which brought 


things to a crisis in Boston, and hastened the evacu 
ation. In a history of the war, published in Lon 
don, is the following : " A breastwork discovered 
this morning (March 17, 1776), to be thrown up by 
the Americans at Nook s Hill, on Dorchester penin 
sula, which from its proximity had an entire com 
mand of Boston Neck and the south end of the 
town a work which the king s troops had most 
fearfully dreaded." The next morning the troops 
left the town, and embarked on board their vessels 
for Halifax. 

May 23d, 1776. The town voted, "that if the 
Continental Congress should think it best to declare 
an Independency with Great Britain, we will sup 
port them with our lives and fortunes." When the 
Declaration of Independence w r as made, the follow 
ing July, it was transcribed in full on the Town 

This year the committee appointed to sell wood 
on the ministerial land in Milton, reported that they 
had sold 480 cords to the continental army, and 140 
cords to the inhabitants. Col. Lemuel llobinson 
and James Robinson were the representatives this 

March 13, 1776, the census of the town was taken, 
and the whole number of people was found to be 
1550 viz., 1515 whites and 35 negroes and mu- 
lattoes. The number of families was 291. 

In 1777 the town chose a committee to prosecute 
the " breaches of the late acts respecting monopoly 
and oppression ; " also a committee " to lay before 


the Court the evidence that may be had of the ini 
mical dispositions of any inhabitant or inhabitants 
of this town, towards this or any of the United 
States." It would appear by this, that there were 
one or more tories in the town ; but, the inhabitants 
were very much united as a body, and had a love of 
and determination for liberty, which seem to have 
sometimes been lost sight of in these latter days. 

During the time that the Revolution was going 
on, the town was continually having meetings to in 
duce men to enlist in the army. They were called 
upon to go to New York, to Canada, to Rhode 
Island, Long Island, Peek s Kill, West Point, on 
secret expeditions, &c. To furnish the many calls 
for enlistments and volunteers, the town put forth 
all its energies, and the people sacrificed their com 
fort and estates. In 1777 the town offered a bounty 
of twenty pounds to each man who would enlist for 
three years or for the war, and pass muster, besides 
the pay offered by the colonies. It also offered 
great bounties to those who would enlist for shorter 
periods, and authorized the treasurer to borrow 
money to meet these demands. So frequent were 
these calls for soldiers, and so great was the expense 
incurred by the town, that its treasury was impov 
erished, and with many of the most worthy and in 
dustrious of the inhabitants it was difficult to obtain 
the necessaries of life. But they were cheered by 
the females, who willingly bore their part in the 
labors and responsibilities of the great work, and by 
the clergy, who preached boldly for the cause and 


encouraged them in their struggles. As early as 
January 31, 1777, nearly one third of the men be 
longing to the town, above the age of sixteen years, 
were in the army. The Selectmen returned, under 
ofitli, the following numbers at home and abroad 
viz., 29-i at home ; in the service, 79 ; 6 Boston 
people, and 10 negroes and mulattoes. The six Bos 
ton men were probably induced to go for this town, 
on account of the great bounty offered. These calls 
were made from time to time, until the close of the 
war. In the early part of it, many of the Dorches 
ter men were stationed at the forts in and around 
Boston. " Being inhabitants of Dorchester," writes 
one of them, " we went to our own dwelling places 
and did business at home, except when on duty. We 
were allowed good provisions, and the duty was gen 
erally easy." 

To add to the trouble and distresses brought on 
by the Revolution, the town took measures for a 
general inoculation of the small pox, and voted to 
use the following named houses for hospitals, if they 
could be obtained : viz., Mr. Powell s ; Clement 
Sumner s ; a house belonging to Mr. James Robin 
son, " if the neighbors consent to it ;" Mr. Mel- 
lish s ; John Pierce, Jr. s ; Capt. John Robinson s ; 
and Ebenezer Prescott s, " if he consent to it." 
This was early in 1778, and all persons desiring to 
be inoculated were to be at the hospitals before the 
21st of January. Dr. Holden was to have the care 
of the patients, and great caution was urged, both 
upon him and his patients, during their sickness. 



Forestalling Provisions The Currency The Revolution Names of 
Dorchester rneu engaged in the War Shay s Rebellion. 

July 12th, 1779. The town held a meeting, and 
voted to sustain the measures advocated by the meet 
ing held in Boston, June 17th, preceding, which wer.e 
intended to prevent the forestalling of provisions, 
the depreciation of the continental currency, and the 
demanding of hard money for goods or rents; also 
that all those who demanded hard money should not 
remain among them, but be transported to the 
enemy. A convention met at Concord to fix the 
prices on the principal articles of trade ; but many 
small things were omitted, and this town chose a 
committee to determine the price for them. They 
are at this time a curiosity, but as they are stated 
in the continental currency, we can form but little 
judgment as to a comparison with present prices. 
Innholders were to have twelve shillings per mug or 
bowl for the best quality of nip or toddy ; and other 
charges were in proportion. Every string was in 
motion to keep up the spirits of the people and 
carry on the war. A part of the town s land was 
sold, and in one or two instances individuals pur 
chased colored slaves and gave them their freedom 
on condition that they would enlist in the army for 
three years. 

April 19th, 1775, the day of the battle at Lexing 
ton, the following persons assembled in the Dorches 
ter Company, viz. : 



Oliver Billings, Captain 

Lemuel Clap, Lieutenant 

Edward Glover, 2d do. 

Ebenezer Glover, Ensign 

Timothy Baker, ) 

Henry Humphreys, > Serg ts 

Ebenezer Pope, ) 

John Billiners, 

Thomas Bird, 

Josiah Glover 

Ezra Glover 

Elisha Glover 

Samuel Crosby 

John Billings 

Lemuel Billings 

Jonathan Fessenden 

Asa Horton 

Samuel Cox 

Elijah Pope 

Elijah Pope, Jr. 

Jeremiah Hunt 

Samuel Belcher 

Elijah Bird 

Ralph Pope 

Jesse Fenno 

John Hawse 

Joseph Withington 

Elijah Withington 

Francis De Luce 

Joseph Withington, Jr. 
Jonathan Clap, Jr. 
Samuel Bird 
Lemuel Collin 
Ezra Clap 
Samuel Champney 
Paul Davis 
James Baker, Jr. 
Noah Torrey 
Daniel Fairn 
Alexander Glover 
Jonathan Bird 
James Kilton 
Ebenezer Atherton 
Nathaniel Clap 
Elisha Clap 
Paul Hall 
Samuel Blackman 
Isaac Davenport 
Ebenezer Maxfield 
Joshua Williams 
Jacob Bird 
Thomas Williams 
James Wood 
John Vaughn 
Ichabod Wiswall 
Eben Bird 
John Atherton 
Joseph Davenport 

The following named persons served in some ca 
pacity in the Revolutionary War, and received, from 
July 24, 1776, to April 3, 1779, in the shape of 
bounty, advance pay, and travelling fees, 5343. 

Isaac Allen 
Ebenezer Atherton 
Samuel Allen 
William Adams 
John Ackleag 
Samuel Allen, Jr. 
John Atherton 

Jonathan Blake 
James Blake 
Lemuel Billings 
Thomas Bird 
Jacob Bird 
Thomas Baker* 
William Blake 

* Thomas Baker was also in the expedition to Cape Breton. 



Nathaniel Blake 
John Blackman 
Israel Beals 
Henry Bird 
Joseph Bird 
Henry Bird, Jr. 
Lemuel Blake 
Edward Bird 
Samuel Blake 
Jonathan Bird, Jr. 
Daniel Bird 
Samuel Champney 
Ebenezer Clap 
David Crane 
John Capen, Jr. 
Ebenezer Clap, Ji\ 
Bernard Capen 
Ephraim Capen 
Samuel Coolidge 
Jonathan Clap, Jr. 
Samuel* Crehore 
David Clap, Jr. 
Ezra Clap 
William Cole 
Abner Clap 
Nathaniel Clap 
Seth Crane 
Ebenezer Davis 
Josiah Davenport 
Samuel Davenport 
Benajah Davenport 
Joseph Davenport 
George Davenport 
Isaac Shaw Davenport 
Pearson Eaton 
Joseph Ellis 
Stephen Fowler 
Stephen Fowler, tertius 
John Foster 
John Foster, Jr. 
William Farris 
Enoch Fenno 
John Fling 
James Gooley 
James Green 
Alexander Glover 

Edward Glover 
Rufus Gulliver 
John Gamsby 
James Humphrey 
William Humphrey 
William Harris 
Peletiah Hall 
Samuel Homans 
Nathaniel Humphrey 
William Hayden 
Joseph Hunt 
Andrew Hughs 
Thomas Ilolman 
Lemuel Horton 
John Jenkins 
Oliver Jackson 
Ezekiel Johnson 
John Johnson 
Thomas Jones 
James Kilton 
Lemuel King 
Samuel Kilton 
Ebenezer Kilton, Jr. 
John Kilton 
Nathan Leeds 
James Lewis 
Josiah Leeds 
Benjamin Lyon 
Lemuel Lyon 
Edward Stow Leeds 
Hezekiah Read Miller 
John Mellish 
Jeremiah M Intosh 
Bartholomew Moor 
James M 7 Clary 
Hezekiah R. Miller, Jr, 
Ebenezer Maxfield 
Peter Niles 
Jonathan Nash 
John Phips 
Benjamin Pratt 
Samuel Preston 
Napthali Pierce 
Jonathan Packard 
Elijah Pope 
Thomas Phillips 


Lemuel Pierce Thomas Tolman 

Capt. John Robinson Benjamin Trott 

Jacob Randall Reuben Tory 

John Richmond Joseph Turner 

Samuel Randall George Vose 

Jonathan Sever William Vose 

Lemuel Spur John Vaughan 

Clement Sumner Joseph Whiston 

James Sherman Lemuel Withington 

Daniel Stoddard Edward Withington 

Micha Symonds Noah Whitcomb 

Rufus Sumner Capt. John Withington 

William Trescott Samuel Withington 

Elijah Tolman Noah Whitcomb, Jr. 

Ezekicl Tileston Thomas Williams 

Tohn Trescott Thomas White 

George Taylor Abraham Wilson 

Nathaniel Topliff John Wiswall 

Jazaniah Thayer John Waters 

Andrew Turner Ebenezer Wales 

William Thompson Moses White 

Samuel Thayer Joseph Williams 

The time of service of all the individuals named 
above, was previous to April 3, 1779. On the 4th 
of July, 1780, the town voted that "whosoever 
would enlist for the reinforcement of the Continental 
Army, for the space of three months, should be 
allowed 250 per month." The large amount here 
offered for monthly wages shows how great had 
become the depreciation of the currency. These 
renewed exertions brought out more men, and we 
find the following additional names enrolled. 

Charles King William White 

Thomas Smith Thomas White 

Samuel White Timothy Wales, in Col. 
John Wiswall, Jr. Cram s reg. of Artill. 

James Spur Ezra Kimbel 

Elisha Spur Prince Darby 

James Tileston Cesar Thacher 
Samuel Babcock 



We also know that three worthy townsmen, James 
Davenport, Stephen Badlam and Wm. Badlam, were 
in the army, and that the former received the present 
of a sword from Lafayette. Prince Darby was a 
slave ; and the name Cesar Thacher seems to denote 
that he was one also. The former was purchased by 
Dea. Edw. Pierce and Samuel Howe, and his freedom 
given to him on the condition that he would enlist 
for three years. 

The following additional names were in Capt. 
Lemuel Clap s company, which contained many on 
the preceding lists. 

Andrews, Samuel 

Beals, Seth 

Barry, Redmon 

Baker, David 

Billings, Lemuel, Jr. 

Baker, George 

Bird, Comfort 

Bird, Edward, Jr. 

Blaney, William 

Bird, Aaron 

Berry, Edward 

Bird, Jonathan 

Bird, Isaac 

Blackman, Moses . 

Bird, Lemuel 

Bird, Joseph, Jr. 

Blackman, Samuel 

Badcock, William 

Bates, Alpheus 
( Bates, Elisha 
vBates, Elisha, Jr. 

Bostwick, Zechariah 

Clap, John 

Clap, Nathaniel 

Clap, Samuel 

Clap, Edward 

Clap, Lemuel 

Clap, Lemuel, Jr. 
Clap, Jonathan 
Clap, David 
Clap, Ezekiel 
Clap, Supply 
Clap, Thomas 
Crouch, William 
Crane, Zebulon 
Carriel, Thomas 
Capen, John 
Capen, Christopher 
Coflyer, Lemuel 
Davis, Nehemiah 
Davenport, Isaac 
Dickerman, Benjamin 
De Luce, Francis 
Draper, Paul 
English, John 
Foster, William 
Felt, Edward 
Fairn, Daniel 
Giles, Samuel 
Glover, Enoch 
Glover, Enoch, Jr. 
Glover, Nathaniel 
Goff, John 
Healey, Nathaniel 



Hewitt, Thomas 
Ilayward, Jacob 
Humphrey, Jonas 
Hawes, John 
Jackson, Gershom 
Kilton, Ebenezer 
Leeds, Thomas 
Lovell, Joshua 
Lyon, Eliphalet 
Lyon, David 
Mann, Ephraim 
M Lellan, Joseph 
Mann, William 
Meraw, William 
Meraw, Samuel 
Meraw, John 
Mosley, Ebenezer 
Mosley, Thomas 
Mosley, Samuel 
Maxfield, John 
Niles, Silas 
Payson, Samuel 
Pierce, Ebenezer 
Pierce, Samuel 

In another list we find 

Nathaniel Wales 
Samuel Blackman 
Jonathan Bradley 

Payson, Joseph 
Pratt, David 
Pond, Joshua 
Richards, David 
Stratton, Benjamin 
Sharp, William 
Seaver, Elisha 
Shed, Thomas 
Tucker, Edward 
Tileston, Timothy 
Wighen, John 
White, James 
Wilson, Ephraim 
Wiswall, Ichabod 
Wales, John 
Withington, Ebenezer 
Withington, James 
Withington, Joseph 
Withington, Joseph, Jr. 
Williams, John 
Wiswall, Oliver 
Wales, Jonathan 
Webb, Joseph 
Ward, Josiah 

John Wales 
John Withington 
Nathan Bradley 

Perhaps the names of some who went from Dor 
chester, and served their country in the Revolu 
tionary Army, are omitted in the preceding lists ; 
and some few mentioned were from Milton, but pro 
bably enlisted for Dorchester people. The foregoing 
are all the names that can readily be found, of those 
who engaged in that important cause. The service 
of some, as already mentioned, was slight perhaps 
being placed on guard at Dorchester Heights, at the 
Castle, or at Cambridge ; while others were sent to 


West Point, Rhode Island, Ticonderoga, and other 
important points, and some of these were engaged in 
the different conflicts of the war. With all its hard 
ships, there was a bright side to the revolutionary ser 
vice ; many friendships were contracted, which lasted 
through life, and stories told round the camp fires 
were repeated through the country, and have been 
handed down to the present generation. The fol 
lowing is related of two of the Dorchester soldiers, 
John Blackman and Joseph Whiston, who were in 
the army at West Point. When they were dis 
charged, at the close of the war, they had a long 
journey to take on foot, to reach their home, and, as 
they expressed it, " little money to spend." They 
therefore purchased together one canteen full of rum 
(joint stock), and set their faces homeward. Black 
man, being the youngest, said that he felt it his duty 
to carry said canteen. He soon outwalked his fel 
low traveller, who seeing him upon a hill in ad 
vance, hailed him, and said that he wanted some of 
the precious liquor. Blackman replied that he would 
stop at the next house, where he could obtain water, 
wait for him, and they would drink together. Whis 
ton called at the house, as agreed upon, and inquired 
for his comrade, but found that he had kept on, and 
he hurried on after him. He occasionally got within 
hailing distance, but invariably received the same 
answer from Blackman, that he would stop at the 
next house, but he never kept his word. In this 
way they travelled from West Point to Dorchester. 
For a while after their return, Blackman gave Whis- 


ton a wide berth ; but one day they met in Roxbury, 
and Whiston called his companion to account for 
such conduct, and asked him if there was any of the 
rum left. He replied, no ; he drank it all, and there 
was not half enough. Whiston then asked if he 
would not pay him for his share ; but his reply was, 
" No, I think I earned it by carrying it." Whiston 
generally went by the name of Whetstone, and is 
remembered by our older citizens. 

Ezekiel Tileston was in the army at Cambridge, 
and shortly after the battle at Bunker Hill, being 
on the marshes with a comrade, fired his musket at 
a company of British just passing the brow of that 
hill. Afterwards he fired at the Glasgow frigate, 
lying in the stream. Although at a long distance, 
it appears they were watched by those on board the 
vessel, for a cannon was loaded with grape shot and 
fired at them, the balls flying very thickly around 
them ; but by crawling through ditches, and on 
their hands and knees, they managed to reach a 
place of safety. 

Samuel Pierce, of this town, was appointed Lt. 
Colonel, Feb. 14, 1776, and appears to have served 
in the army during a great part of the Revolution. 
He was at Morristown early in 1777, and wrote home 
from that place, on March 10th, of that year, that 
he should start for Dorchester, and expected to come 
in company with Capt. Clap, Master Coolidge and 
James Humphrey; that Humphrey and Jonathan 
Holden had the measles, but were " like to do well ;" 
also that he expected to return on foot, and that 


the going was so bad he should not be able to travel 
300 miles as quick as the young men. Although 
holding the honorable rank of Colonel in the army, 
he was thus obliged to walk from New Jersey to 
Massachusetts ! Oct. 29th, 1777, he was ordered to 
repair to Dorchester Heights, or the Castle, to pre 
vent those fortresses being taken by the transports 
which were sent here, by General Howe, to carry 
Burgoyne s army, now prisoners of war, to England. 
In 1779, he was in Rhode Island, and appears to 
have been the commander of the regiment, Jonathan 
Blake, of this town, being his adjutant. Colonel 
Pierce was a patriotic man, and did his full share in 
carrying out the orders of the State, although some 
of them were difficult to enforce, for want of men. 

David Clap, Jr., then about 18 years of age, was 
one of the Dorchester company stationed at Cam 
bridge to guard the soldiers of Burgoyne s army af 
ter they were taken prisoners. He relates the follow 
ing incident. " A prisoner, one of the British grena 
diers, was seen at night by one of our sentinels to be 
getting pickets that were placed around the fort, 
and as his orders were to secure them, he ordered 
the prisoner to desist. After speaking several times 
without effect, the sentry told him if he persisted in 
doing so he would fire. The only answer given was 
a profane daring of. the sentry to fire. He fired, and 
killed the prisoner on the spot. Some of the other 
prisoners were so enraged at this, that they threat 
ened to kill the sentry ; and as he was noted by a 
stiffness in one of his knees, and could be easily re- 


cognized, the officers thought it best not to put him 
on the main guard again. I think there was another 
prisoner who lost his life at Cambridge by disobey- 
ing orders." 

The same individual also relates the following, of 
another Dorchester man : " One of the company 
which I belonged to would frequently, after his du 
ties of the day were done, set out at night to visit 
his family, and return so as to be on hand between 
daylight and sunrise the next morning to answer to 
his name being obliged to walk, in going and com 
ing, more than 16 miles." He likewise speaks of 
being on duty at Noddle s Island now known as 
East Boston, and containing 16,000 inhabitants 
where he says there were " only two dwelling-houses 
and two families the inhabitants I think no more 
than twelve." 

June 22, 1780, a law was passed, to immediately 
raise 4726 men ; and that if any man was drafted 
who was not of sufficient ability to serve in person, 
or who did not pass muster, he was to hire some 
able-bodied man to take his place, or pay a fine of 
$150 in twenty-four hours. 

There were frequent attempts made to keep up 
the value of the Continental currency, and the 
agreement of 1779 was of service for a while; but 
none of them served to prevent its depreciation. 

In March, 1780, the town voted to raise the sum 

of 6,000 ; and June 22d, of the same year, it was 

voted to levy a tax of 40,000 to hire soldiers. And 

again, Dec. 26th, of the same year, the town voted 



to raise the sum of 40,000 to purchase heef for the 
army. It was also voted to allow the assessors 15 
per day for their time. These were indeed days of 
darkness and peril ; and courage, faith, and indomi 
table energy alone carried our ancestors through the 
struggle. The young men, the active and the strong, 
were in the army, or liable to be called upon at any 
moment; and the women and children, the sickly 
and aged men, were left at home. It was really 
difficult for many of the inhabitants to obtain the 
necessaries of life. Yet they managed to do their 
share in the great work of the Revolution. In or 
der to collect money for the purpose of hiring sol 
diers, individuals were employed to go round to the 
houses for subscriptions, and some of the town lands 
were sold. 

The winter of 1780-81 was remarkably cold, with 
great quantities of snow, so much that the roads in 
Dorchester were not broken out for a long time, 
most of the able-bodied men being in the army. 
The route into Boston, from the upper part of the 
town and from Milton, was down Neponset river and 
up Boston harbor on the ice. There was a house 
of entertainment, refreshments, &c., opened on the 
ice near the Castle. 

In 1781, the auditors of the treasurer s accounts 
report that he had received 132,800 Os. 2Jd., and 
had paid out 133,528 95. 6d. ; that is, from March, 
1780, to March, 1781. In 1782 they reported that 
the receipts from March, 1781, to March, 1782, 
were 242,303 05. 4d., and the treasurer had paid 


out 250,521 2s. Sd. there being due the treasurer 
the sum of 8,218 2s Ad., "or 109 specie." 
This last clause shows the depreciation of the Con 
tinental currency. This was certainly the third year 
in succession that their treasurer (Mr. Noah Clap) 
had paid out more than he had received. The next 
report of the auditprs, made in November, 1783, 
showed the same result as to the deficiency of the 
town income, but an improved state of the currency ; 
the treasurer having received 1,596 Ss. 2d., and 
paid out 1,783 125. 4rf. 

The war had now closed, and the soldiers were 
returning home many of them poor and worn in 
flesh, and poorer in pocket. But days of peace will 
always revive the exhausted energies of a country 
wearied and impoverished by war ; and things be 
gan to improve throughout the country. In Dor 
chester the people moved on as formerly, at their 
town meetings passing the old votes with but few 
exceptions, a small number always in advance of the 
mass, and willing and ready to adopt all real im 
provements. In 1785 the town voted to allow a 
bounty of Is. 6d. for every rattle-snake killed in the 



Shays s Rebellion Col. Pierce s Diary of Important and Interesting 


EARLY in 1787 the insurrection under Gen. Daniel 
Shays broke out, but was soon quelled, although it 
caused great alarm among a portion of the people. 
The following are those who went from this town, 
to assist in putting down a rebellion which for a 
time threatened serious consequences. 

In the company of artillery, commanded by Capt. 
Lieut. Thomas Williams, under the command of 
John J. Spooner, Esq., serving under the orders of 
Hon. Major Gen. Lincoln, commencing January 8th 9 
and ending February 8th, 178T were the following. 

Thomas Williams, Capt. Li. Daniel Russell 

John Swift, 2d Lieut. John Clap 

Aaron Bird, 2d " Thomas Mayo 

Nathaniel Winship, Serg t Ebenezer Scott 

David Pratt, John Dove 

James Lewis, " Samuel Holden, jr. 

Dan l Stoddard, Bombardier Edward S. Leeds 

Samuel Griggs, " William Withington 

Elisha Crane, " Solomon Hall 

Edward Clap, " Daniel Wiswall 

Thomas Hereman, Fifer Joseph Whittemore 

Organ, Drummer Edward Glover, jr. 

-Royal Shepherd, Mattross Samuel Mosley 

Ebenezer Davis, " Richard Trow 

Stephen Davis Eliakim Blackman 

David Waitt, jr. Edmund Baker 

John Goffe, jr. Elisha Crane 

William Mellen William Maurough 

John Hears, jr. Samuel Glover 

Samuel Murdock Edward Bodge 

John Brewer Isaac Fenno 
Thaddeus Brewer 



In Capt. James Robinson s company, of the regi 
ment commanded by Ezra Badlam, Esq., in January 
and February, 1787, the following names are found 
recorded : 

James Robinson, Capt. 

Thomas Mosley, Lieut. 

Jacob Gill,* 

Nathan Leeds, Serg t Moj. 

James Davenport, Q. M. S. 

John Trescott, Serg t 

Nath l Keyes,* " 

Isaac Thornton,* " 

Wm. Chambers, " 

George Manning, Corp. 

John Withington, " 

Daniel Withington, " 

John Athcrington, " 

John Bird 

Ebenezer Clap 

Lemuel Blackmail 

John Rouse Huchings 

Peter McElroy 

John Cox 

Robert White 

James Holden 

John Hall 

Samuel Payson 

James Baker 

Jesse Sumner* 

William Harding 

James Jones 

Samuel Capen 

Alexander Vose* 

John White 

James Spur 

John Clap 

Alexander Glover 

Abraham Pierce 

Luther Crane* 

Samuel Williams* 

David Johnson 

Michael Field 

Moses Belcher* 

John Garch* 

Zibe Crane* 

Shepherd Bent* 

Vose Crane* 

Samuel Badcock* 

Joseph Fenno* 

Edward Cyson 

Ebenezer Daniels 

Silas Hoten (Stoughton) 

William Morris 

Lemuel Collier 

Thomas Robinson 

Jotham Wheelwright 

James Richards 

Eleazer Thayer 

Samuel Richards* 

Josiah Thompson 

Joseph Turner 

Richard Trow, Coll. Clerk 

Abel Hersey 

Samuel Clap, jr. 

Those marked with a star are supposed to have been from Milton. 

The late Maj. Amasa Stetson was also of this expedition, 
in Capt. Moses Draper s company. 

Of this long list, it is supposed that Dea. Ebene 
zer Clap is now the only survivor. He was a vol 
unteer in the army, and probably the youngest, be 
ing but 15J years of age. 


October 23, 1793, Rev. Thadcleus Mason Harris 
was ordained minister over the Church and Society 
in Dorchester. This was an important event in the 
town s history, and he was elected to the station by 
an almost unanimous vote, both in Church and 
town. The sermon at his ordination was preached 
by Rev. Samuel Kendal, of Weston ; the charge 
given by Rev. Nathaniel Robbins, of Milton ; and the 
right hand of fellowship by Rev. Mr. Haven, of 
Dedham. His people were very kind to him under 
all circumstances, and assisted and encouraged him 
in every strait. He was sole minister in the town, 
which then included all South Boston, until the 
formation of the second parish, in 1806. He was a 
son of Mr. William Harris, of Charlestown, in which 
place he was born, July 7, 1768. He entered Har 
vard College in 1783, and graduated in 1787. For 
about a year he had charge of a classical school in 
Worcester, and in 1791 was appointed Librarian of 
Harvard University, where he remained until he w r as 
engaged to preach in this town. He continued the 
minister of the parish until July 16, 1835, when the 
parish, acceding to his request, settled with him a 
colleague (Rev. Nathaniel Hall), and on the 23d of 
October, 1836, being the forty-third anniversary of 
his ordination, he resigned his charge and took leave 
of his people in a sermon which is in print. He 
was a man of great sensibility, deep learning, of a 
poetical turn, was much inclined to wit, and had 
tears for all the unfortunate. Some of his dis 
courses abounded with pathos and eloquence. He 


was a member of many of the most important socie 
ties in this part of the country. Of his books, ser 
mons, &c., there were published forty-four. 

1794. April 7th, of this year, the town voted to 
allow 12 towards building a house for the engine, 
which had been purchased a short time previous by 
a number of the inhabitants. This was the begin 
ning of .the Dorchester fire department. 

The same year the town chose a committee to 
build an alms-house, or work-house, as it was then 
called, and after considerable delay, it was erected, 
at a cost of $1,940 30, and report made to the town 
to that effect, November 7th, 1796. It was our 
present alms-house, though it has been greatly en 
larged since its erection. 

This year it was also voted to enlarge the meet 
ing-house, by dividing it in the middle lengthwise, 
and removing the north part twelve feet, and the 
tower six feet. Dea. Edward Pierce performed the 
work, which was considered a remarkable, perform 
ance for those days. He stipulated to do it, and for 
his pay receive all the new pews, excepting those to 
be granted to individuals who lost theirs by the 

May 6, 1796, Hon. James Bowdoin sent a letter 
to the town authorities, saying that it was necessary 
for him to relinquish his inhabitancy in the town of 
Dorchester, and for the many unmerited attentions 
and respect shown him by the people of the town, 
desired their acceptance of a lot of wood land, con 
taining about ten acres, to be devoted to the benefit 
of the schools. 


In 1798 the town voted to sell the old school- 
house, and erect a new one of brick on the Meeting 
house Hill. The old school-house here referred to, 
stood on what is now the garden of Win. D. Swan. 
It was removed to the present Commercial Street, 
where it is still standing, with a brick basement. 

This year the town also voted to sell fourteen lots 
of land on the Meeting-house Hill. It is to be re 
gretted that the whole hill had not been retained, as 
it would have proved a lasting benefit as well as 
ornament to the town. 

In writing a history of Dorchester, it w r ould not 
be proper to omit a notice of Noah Clap, A.M., who 
died April 10, 1799. No one, since the settlement 
of the town, has had so much to do with its con 
cerns, or was so well acquainted with its interests ; 
indeed, he knew the history and family relations of 
most of those who had lived here previous to his day. 
He w^as a son of Dea. Jonathan Clap, grandson of Mr. 
Nathaniel Clap ("a choice man "), and great grand 
son of Nicholas, one of the early settlers, all of Dor 
chester. He was born January 25th, 1718, and 
graduated at Harvard College in 1735, at the age 
of seventeen. He then studied theology, and became 
a preacher, but his health was so feeble that he 
never entertained the idea of settling in the minis 
try, although he frequently preached in this and the 
neighboring towns. He kept the grammar school 
in Dorchester for nearly twenty years, and, for a 
generation after his decease, was designated as Mas 
ter Noah. He was Selectman, Town Treasurer and 


Assessor upwards of thirty years, and Town Clerk 
about forty-seven years. While in this capacity, his 
house was burned ; and although every exertion 
was made to save the records, at the expense of other 
property, a part was lost, but was afterwards sup 
plied, in a great measure through his exertion and 
perseverance. He had a very retentive memory, and 
could repeat the tales of former years with great 
interest. He was so conscientious in regard to the 
truth, that he was rarely known to make an asser 
tion unless prefixed by the term "may be." The 
late Rev. Dr. Harris preached a sermon on the occa 
sion of his death, in which he said, " I never knew 
a person farther removed from every appearance of 
duplicity, or more singularly remarkable for a cau 
tiousness in speech, and inviolable veracity." " He 
was not fond of affirmations ; and hesitated even as 
to the accuracy of his own judgment, and the cer 
tainty of his own information. This singular cau 
tiousness was the result of the most inflexible reve 
rence for truth. It was accompanied by a meek, 
humble, diffident and modest spirit, and a plain, 
undisguised, unaffected artlessness of manner." **** 
" A very observable and lovely trait in his character, 
was his candor and charitableness in judging of 
others. Of this he gave the most pleasing proofs 
in his unwillingness even to hear anything to the 
disadvantage of persons. He would never patiently 
listen to the reports which might be in circulation 
of the misconduct of any ; and when they were men 
tioned in his presence, he was always ready to pal- 


liate or excuse what he could not commend, and 
seemed averse to believe ill news, flying rumors, and 
petty scandal. Of course he was never known to 
repeat them." *** " The late Dr. Belknap found 
great assistance in his most important researches, 
from consulting Mr. Clap ; and such was his won 
derful accuracy, even in chronological dates, that his 
guarded declarations had all the fidelity and cer 
tainty of printed documents." One of his children 
Dea. Ebenezer Clap- is still living (1857), and 
is probably the last of the fifth generation now in 
the town. 

The following extracts are from the diary of Col. 
Samuel Pierce, of Dorchester, who was a very intel 
ligent and enterprising man, and appears to have 
been a farmer, carpenter, mason, &c., and during the 
revolutionary war an officer in the army. The ex 
tracts given are numerous, and some of them in 
themselves unimportant ; but in connection with a 
history of the town, they possess much interest^ and 
supply a deficiency which could not otherwise be 
made up. The orthography, &c. have been retained, 
as in other ancient quotations in this work. 

1761, Nov. 27. Remember Preston was lost. 

1762, Ma^rch 16. We have had abundance of sleding this 
Winter, the moste that ever I new, and as hard a Winter as 
ever I see. 

April 3. Remember Preston was found down at Marshfield. 
April 15. John Wiswall was drounded in the river. 
April 20. He was found. 

May 28. Edward s leg was broke at Mr. Wellington s. 
June 26. We got Edward home from Mr. Withington s. 
July 17, Edward first got out of bed. 


{The Edward here referred to, was Dea. Edward Pierce, a 
prominent man in town, and well remembered by our older 

July 2t. There was a very fine shower after a very dry 
time. We reckon as much rain fell in J of an our as we have 
iaad in three or 4 months. 

Aug. 20. There is Pigons comonly this month, if any time 
in the year, and there is some now. 

Sept. 5. Edward went to meeting the first time after his 
leg was brok. He staid at home 15 sabbath Days. 

Sept. 7. There was a singin lecture at Stouton. 

Sept. 10. I catcht 12 dozen of Pigons. 

Sept. It. The Pigons left us all at once. 

Sept. 30. Three Bays training at the Castle. 

Oct. 30. Pull d Potatoes and had 2 bushels. 

[Although potatoes were sent to this country for seed as 
early as 1628 or 29, they were not made an article of daily 
food until about the year 1800, when they took the place of 
turnips, which had previously been in very common use. It 
tvas the custom of the Selectmen of Dorchester to hold their 
sessions through the day. One day, when partaking of a din 
ner of fried eels, one of their number (Mr. Ezekiel Tolman) 
remarked that he believed potatoes would taste good with 
fried eels. The experiment was accordingly tried, and with 
such satisfactory results, that they afterwards invariably used 
this valuable esculent with that fish, which often made their 

1763, Feb. 10. I went to half moon pond to catch eels, the 
first time that ever I went to that place. 

[By subsequent remarks, it appears that that locality had 
just been discovered as a good place to catch eels, which 
were taken with spears, and a man would then.almost as soon 
be without an axe as without an eel-spear. On the 15th of the 
same month, seven of them went eeling, and caught 500 Ibs.] 

Feb. 10. I had 2 pair britches made out of Dear skins and 
own black. 

March 31. We have 2 clever calves to rais, 3 weeks old. 

April 15. Sowed carrets and Parsnips, &c. 

April 21. I grafted for Mr. Lemuel Robinson ; he and I 
grafted 245 heads in one day. 

June 6. I went a fishing in Mr. Minot s boat, and cacht -4- 
a, halaboat. 

June 8. The Pigons flew Prety thick. 

June 18. I went a Lobstrin, catch 9. 

Aug. 12. We finished thrashing and faning our barley ; 
we had 26 bushels. 


[It was the custom in those days to use much more 
than now.] 

Sept. 27. I went to Boston and bought two leather aprons 
at 13s. Gd. a Piece. 

Sept. 29. Training at Castle William. 

Sept. 30. To ditto to ditto, and we had a Treet of the 
fines of Puntch and bisket and chees. 

Nov. 20. I kild a stout white headed Eagle. 

1764, Jan. 18. Boston people move out their goods very 
fast, for fear of the small pox. 

March 20. Mr. Bowman desired to have them sing twice 
in the forenoon. 

July 3. I went out in Mr. Minot 7 s Bot to catch rnackriel ; 
we catcht about 600, but they were very small. 

Nov. 26. I went to Boston and bought me som cloth to 
make me a coat ; it is blew surge. 

1765, Jan. 16v Mr, Samuel How was stopt by a rober 
upon Boston neck. 

[Mr. Howe was one of his neighbors, and the affair, no 
doubt, was the occasion of great excitement.] 

March 12. Had my joise saw d ; it was the first that ever 
was saw d at the new mill. 

March 22. It snowed and stormed very bad in the morn 

March 24. Snowed and stormed very bad. Mr. Boman 
put by the meeting in the afternoon for the storm, and it was 
a very high tide and did much damage at Boston. 

April 25. It snows and storms this morning very much. 

July 3. I went a lobstering ; it was a very rainy forenoon , 
I got about 20 Lobsters. 

July 24. I went a frolicking on the water. 

Sept. 2. I fell from Lemuel Clap s house and hurt me some, 
but not very much. I fell about 16 foot. 

Sept. 25. Training at the Castle. The same day is to be 
the great hors rase on the neck. 

Oct. 12. The Brants flew thick over the land. 

Nov. 10. Was the first that we sang tate & brady s spalms in 
Dorchester meeting. Som people much offended at the same. 

[What volumes are contained in the last line of the above 
extract, " Some people much offended at the same. 77 A large 
part of the real improvements and advances of every age have 
passed through the same ordeal, whether in religion, law, 
social life or the mechanical arts ; and the progress that is 
really made, is effected after encountering strong opposition- 
When the custom was changed from deaconing out the hymn? 


ks it was called, in public worship, that is, reading line by 
line before singing, some of the worshippers in different parts 
of the country were so offended that they left their meetings, 
never to return, apparently unconscious that the custom was 
originally adopted because it was difficult to obtain books for 

[There is an omission here of four years in the Journal.] 

1769, May 11. Snowed in the afternoon ; the snow fell six 
inches deep back in the country. 

June 2. A very great white frost. 

June 25. We had the spinning match at our house. 

July 25. The soldiers go from Boston, some of them. 

Aug. 1. Gov. Barnard goes from Boston. 

Aug. 14. Was a very grand entertainment at Mr. Lemuel 
Eobirison s. All the Sons of Liberty met ; there was 124 
carriages there. 

Sept. 7. Mr. Isaac How was drownded in the river. 

Sept. 9. The blazing star appears plain. 

Sept. 20. Much talk about the blazing star. 

Nov. 1. The brants fly very thick. 

Nov. 13. I carried a load of Syder to Boston 45s. bar. 

Dec. 6. Mr. Josiah Quinsey s house was burnt. 

Dec. 26. Exceeding warm and pleasant. 

1770, Jan. 25. The merchants in Boston all vote against 

Feb. 13. I had a pair of dearskin bretches. 

Feb. 22. A boy was shot at Boston by an informer. 

March 6. Four men killed in Boston by the soldiers. 

[It will be perceived that, as a matter of course, some 
occurrences out of the town are recorded subsequent to the 
time when they transpired.] 

March 12, The soldiers go from Boston to the Castle. 

April 19. Richarsan had his trial for his life. 

May 28. I had 18 men to making stone wall in one day. 

May 30. There was an ox roasted whole at Boston. 

Aug. 11. Mr. Whitfield came to Boston. 

Sept. 10. Castle William is resined to Col. Dalrymple. 

Oct. 20. Was a violent storm as ever was known in these 
parts, and did a vast deal of damage. 

Dec. 2. Little Sam first wore jacket and bretches. 

1771, Jan. 28. Very pleasant weather as ever I new. 
Feb. 6. There has not been more than 4 inches of snow 

since 13th December. 

March 13. Thomas Hutchinson was made Governor in 


March 14* I first began to tar my Apple trees. 

March 19. First perceive any ere tores to crawl. 

[By the above it appears that our fathers were troubled by 
that great pest, the canker worm.] 

April 3. I set a Post and an elm tree at the meeting house* 

[The elm here referred to is still standing, about ten rods 
west of the present meeting-house a graceful and majestic 

April 17. The creatores crawl very much. 

April 25. Sod my heards grass, first that ever I sode. 

[Was this a new grass at that time ?] 

May 10. Stephen Gulliver was drownded. 

June 25. The mackrel came very thick. 

June 26. We gathered a mess of string beans. 

Aug. 7. The hottest Day has been for 22 years as thought, 

Nov. 16. I went to Boston 6 times with a team this week. 

Nov. 18. William King killed a hogwd. 17 score and 141b. 

[In this diary are found the weights of various hogs of his 
that were killed. This one of King s is named, no doubt, on 
account of being an extraordinarily large hog : yet it is very 
moderate compared with some of the present day, the breed 
of hogs having undoubtedly been more improved than that 
of any other animal.] 

1772, March 5. A very smart snow storm a foot of snow. 

March 9. A very smart snow storm, and drifted very much. 

March 11. We dig out highways, and a smart storm 
comes on which filled them again by the time we got home. 

March 12. The snow blowed very much. 

March 13. We dig out the highway to the meeting-house, 
but a snow storm came on whicii filled the rode again as bad 
as ever. 

March 18. Mr. Ebenezer Brown was drownded. 

March 20. A violent snow storm came on. 

March "21. People dig out the highway again. 

March 27. We dig out the highway to the meeting-house. 

April 3. A violent snow storm ; the snow drifts much. 

April 4. We dig out the highways ; the snow 8 foot or 10 
Foot deep in some drifts. 

April 15. A very great rain did great damage to the dams 
and mill. 

May 20. Town meeting. Esq. Holden offered to go repre 
sentative for nothing, but they would not choose him. 

[The people were very particular, about this time, whom 
they chose to that office.] 

May 21. Sot oar Sain ; catcht 12 Bass, 1G shd, 


June 22. I sot out my tobacco plants. 

Aug. 10. I finis my barley and had 50 bushels. 

[There was a great quantity of barley used about this time.] 

Aug. 28. Mr. Ebenezer Clap made captain of the loar 

Oct. 21. Capt. Clap calFd his company together and made 
a treat. 

Nov. 15. The Pirates came on this coast and rob d one 

Nov. 22. The Pirates take a scooner and killed the hands. 

Dec. 21. As fine weather as ever was known. No frost 
in the ground. 

Dec. 23. 1 brake up ground at blackbird swamp. 

December 29. Had a town meeting to exclaim against the 
Duty being laid upon us, -and the judges having their salaries 
paid from England, &c. 

Dec. 30. 1 brake up ground for Mr. Jona. Leeds. 

Dec. 31. I brake up ground at Blackbird Swamp. 

1773, Feb. 1. Began to kep school, 3 5s. per week. 
March 14. Mr. Boman refused to baptize Paul Halls child, 

altho he demanded it in public. 

June 3. Capt. Clap had his training. 

Aug. 31. I went out in the sloop ; there was 129 persons. 

Oct. 11. We had our 18th Church meeting against Boman. 

Nov. 19. Had councils four days this week; cost 150 
a day. 

Dec. 1. A great time of talk about the tee. 

Dec. 3. The council set 4 days this week, and have not 

Dec. 11. Boston is fall of trouble about the tee being 

Dec. 14. Was a church meeting, and the council dismissed 
Mr. Jona. Boman from this Church this day. We have had 
eight months controversy with Mr. Boman, but got rid of 
him at last by paying him 450 old tenor per year to go away. 

Dec. 15. There was the destruction of the Tee ; they sup 
posed there to be about 340 chests destroyed, all thrown into 
the dock in one Nite. 

Dec. 30. There was a number of men came from Boston 
in disguise, about 40 ; they came to Mr. Eben Withington s 
down in town, and demanded his Tee from him which he had 
taken up, and carried it off and burnt it at Boston. 

1774, Jan. 3. Was town meeting. We pass a vote against 
buying or drinking any Bohea Tee. S. P. 

May 16. Gov. Gages Commission was Red in Boston. 


May 18. Mr. Lemuel Robinson was chosen to represent 
the town. 

May 31, We had our Training and Treeting, &c. ; the 
Company was all here, about 100 ; we had 188 people here to 

June 13. The soldiers land at Boston. 

June 17. The Cort was disolved at Salem by Gage. 

July 2. Eight or nine Men a War arived with forces, and 
Boston is in a most deplorable condition. 

Sept. 1. There was an alaram ; there was about 8 or 9 
thousand men met at Cambridge. 

Sept. 12. The greate gun was Removed from Preston s 

Sept. 19. We began to exercise this season. 

Oct. 4. We had our trainings in Dorchester. 

Nov. 9. Had a meeting of all the training soldiers, and 
gave up our commissions and were rechosen. 

Nov. 17. The officers of this regiment met at Stouton to 
choose their field officers. Chosen for the same, Lemuel 
Robinson, Deacon Gill and Joseph Voce. 

Nov. 28. The fortification all built on Boston Neck. 

Dec. 6. Poor Elijah Tolman comes to the town, and goes 
about like a sad clowne. 

Dec. 6. I went to Salem with a team for a load of hides, 
Went and got home again in 30 hours, while the whole jour 
ney was 60 miles. 

Dec. 27. Town meeting. Capt. Withirigton was chosen to 
represent the town in the Congress, 

1775, Feb. 27. The officers met, and the field officers re 

March 7. They met again and were rechosen. Capt. Clap 
was chosen Lieut. Colonel. 

[It appears that the officers very generally resigned rather 
than hold commissions under the king. They were afterwards 
re-chosen ; at least, those in whom the people had confidence, 
and received their commissions from the Continental Con 

March 5. Mr. Ebenezer Baker s shase was burnt at the 
meeting-house : it was sot a fire by leaving a sto in it. 

March 20. The company s met in Dorchester to view arms, 
the same day the old Larram (Alarm?) Men chose their 

April 19. This day there was a terrible battle at Lexing 
ton and Concord between our people and the soldiers which 
marcht out of Boston ; the soldiers fired on our people, and 


then the battle began, and there was about 40 of our people 
kild and 190 of the soldiers, as near as could be recollected. 

April 20. The alarm was very general, and a great num 
ber of People collected ; it may be there was 30 or 40 Thou 
sand in Roxbury and Cambridge. 

May 1. There is very great confusion among us at this 
day, some people moving out of Boston, and some of the 
Tory s moving their goods in to town. 

May 5. There was something of an alarm here in Dorches 
ter ; a schooner came into the River, but it proved to be from 
Boston with som of our frinds from Boston in it. 

May 9. An express came to me from the General, and I 
got the Company together and marcht of, but we met with 
interruption that night. 

May 11. Was a fast kept and very strictly too. 

May 17. More soldiers arrive at Boston from England. 

May 21. The soldiers go to Weymouth with four vessels 
for hay at Strawbery hill, but our people drive them of and 
burnt the barn ; twas thot to have had near 80 tuns of hay 
in it. 

May 27. The soldiers make another attack on Noddle s 
Island, but our soldiers get the better of them and took a 
small vessell from them and burnt it. 

May 28. The barn was burnt on Tomsons Island. 

May 29. The people burn a great quantity of hay at Nod 
dles Island, and at night the house at tompsons Island. 

June 14. A great number of transports arive in Boston 
with more soldiers, some say 1500. 

June IT. They got over to Charlestown and set it on fire, 
and burn the whole town down. 

June 18. There was a terrible battle fout at Charlestown ; 
the Regulars get the better of our troops, and we lost about 
70 men and many wounded. 

June 20. It was said that there was 1000 of the Regular 
soldiers kild. 

June 24. This day two of our men went to set Browns 
house on the Neck afire, and were both kild ; one was old 
Share of Milton. 

June 26. This day our People began to entrench below 
Capt. Clap s, near the great Casway. 

June 27. Our people went down to Dorchester Neck to 
work, but were shot at from Boston very much. 

July 2. Much firing from the Regulars this morning at 
our people at Roxbury. Mr. Williams house was set on 
fire, but no lives lost. 


July 6. Our soldiers had a scurmig this morning with 
their gard, and drove them from it and set Brown s house 
afire on the Neck. 

July 10. Our People go to Long Island and fetch of all 
the cretors, and took 13 mereens prisoners. 

July 11. This day many of the ships goes out of the har 
bor, but upon what expedition we cannot tell at preasant. 

July 12. This day we have our town meeting to choose 
representative according to the advice of the Continental 

July 13. Our people began to entrench near the George 
tavern on Boston Neck, and the soldiers fired at them and 
kild one man. 

July 15. I went to Newport in Rodilan. 

July 20. The Light-house was sot afire, and our people 
went to Nantasket to git of the barley and hay. 

July 30. There was something of a scirmige with the 
Regulars ; the Regulars set the George tavern afire on the 

Aug. 25. This day four barges came up to the farm bar ; 
our people fired at them, but did them no damage. 

Sept. 11. This day there was a canoe came of from the 
fortification on the Neck ; the wind blowd so hard that it 
blowd him off, and a boat with five men to help him, and 
and were all blowed over to the Neck and were taken pri 

Sept. 18. There was 108 shot fired at our people this day, 
but not one man killd. 

Sept. 26. Our people went on an expedition over the bay, 
and set the house on fire on Governor s Island. 

Oct. 8. The Men a War goes from Boston to Bristol road- 
iland, and then fired on the town and did much damage. 

Oct. 10. Governor Gage sailed for England. 

Oct. 12. Mr. Edward Prestons barn and Chocolate mill 
were both burnt to ashes. 

Oct. 16. Our people went down in Cambridge bay with two 
floating Batery s to fire upon Boston, and one of them split 
their cannon by not raming their shot down ; it kild one and 
wounded 6. 

Oct. 20. The ships set fire to the town at Casco bay, and 
burn about three quarters of the town to ashes. 

Oct. 28. There was 417 houses and warehouses burnt at 
Casco bay the 20th of this month. 

Dec. 15. Our Privatears take a fine prize laden with am 
munition and stors, and a fine mortar. 


1776. Our People goes to Bunker hill and sot several 
houses afire. The regulars fired very much at our people, 
but nobody hurt. 

Jan. 18. We heard of our people haveing a defeat at Que- 
beck by trying to scale the walls. 

Jan. 29. We called our Company s together, and then en 
listed 25 men for the army for 2 months. 

Feb. 5. This day we had 38 soldiers come into our house. 

Feb. 13. The regulars came out of Boston and from the 
Castle, and drove our Gard of the Neck and burnt the housen. 

March 4. Our people went on to Dorchester Neck and 
built two forts in the same night, and there was 380 teems 
and about 5000 men the most work don that ever was don 
in one night in New England. 

March 5. There was a very heavy cannonading all the 
night, but there was but one man kild on our side. Our regi 
ment marcht to Roxbury, but nobody was hurt. 

March 9. There was an exceeding heavy firing from the 
ministerial troops towards Nuke hill, and one shot kild 4 men 
instantly, and there was more than one thousand shot fired 
from the regulars, and no man hurt except the 4 first, a most 
remarkable hand of Providence in this. 

March 14. Part of our regiment was called to gard the 
shore ; one third part were kept on duty. 

March 17. There was a heavy firing from our enemy, but 
no hurt don, and this morning the Regulars were out of Bos 
ton, Destroying as they went of like so many frited sheep, 
but some of the toryes were left behind in town. 

[From an appraisement of the damage done in Dorchester 
by the British troops, from April 19, 1775, to April 19, 1776, 
it appears that the amount was 4592 18s. 9d.] 

March 18. Our people take possession of Boston. 

March 19. The Regulars set fire to the Barracks at the 
Castle, and our people began a brest work on Mr. Blake s 

March 20. Something of firing from one of the ships this 

March 22. This night Castle William was all burnt to 
ashes and all destroyed. 

March 25. A great number of the Light horses were sold 
at Cambridge. 

March 28. Our people go into Boston all freely. 

March 30. The ships mostly goes out of the harbor; they 
sailed for Halifax. 

April 4. Four of our regiments move for to go to Roade- 
iland, and sum to New York. 


April 18. The Court sot in our meeting-house to try the 

April 25. The officers of Col. Gill s regiment met at Do- 
ties at Stoughton, and were all sworn. 

May IT. There was a valuable prise taken by our Privi- 
tears of the harbor. 

June 8. There was one of our Privitears taken by our ene 
mies ; she was called the Yanky hero. 

June 14. Our people goes on with an expedition down on 
the Islands, and drove out the ships out of the harbor ; they 
built a fort on Long Isld, and another on Nantasket. Our 
enemy Blowed up the Light-house ; myself was a spectator 
at the time. 

June 1*7. There was two ships came into our harbor with 
Scotch soldiers, and our Privatiers took them both ; they 
had 200. 

July 28. America declared Independency from Great 

[Probably this was the day the news reached here.] 

Sept. 14. New York taken by the King s troops. 

Oct. 30. One of the Continental ships came into Boston 
harbor, a 36 Gun frigate. 

Dec. 7. The King s troops take possession of Rhode Island. 

Dec. 18. My father went to New York. 

[This last was written by Samuel Pierce, Jr.] 

ITtT, March 17. I set out from Canfield s in the Jerseys, 
the 17th of March, and got home the 27th Day at one o clock 
in the afternoon. 

April 19. There was 5 tories carted out of Boston, and 
were tipt up in Roxbury, and were ordered never to return 
to Boston again upon Peril of Death ; there seems Now to be 
some resolution in the people. 

April 18. This day Capt. Sumner marches to Providence 
with one quarter part of our militia for to assist them against 
the enemy. 

April 30. Major Badcock went to Bristol to engage the 
men for two months. The same day our stores were destroy 
ed at D anbury. 

May 1. This day the snow fell about 4 inches deep, 

May 18. Our Continental ships sails on a cruise. 

Sept. 16. First began to grind stolks to make molases of. 

Sept. 22. Had orders to draught 50 men from our regi 
ment for a secret expedition. 
" Sept. 30. Mr. Minott began his saltworks at Pine Neck. 

Oct. 1 10. We had good news from our Northern army of 
Burgoine s being taken. 


Oct. 17. General Gates took Burgoine with about 5000 
troops of our enemy. 

Oct. 30. Our soldiers return from the expedition to Rhode 
Island without doing anything. 

Nov. 2. Lieut. Ezekl Tolman came home from towards 
Ticonderoga not well. 

1778, May 14. Mr. John Minot Enoctilated his family with 
the small pox much against the minds of his neighbours. 

May 19. We had a town meeting in order to see what 
method the town would take to re-inforce the Continental 

May 31. There was near a hundred prayed for this day 
under the operation of the small pox in Dorchester. 

July 23. I bought a Hogst of Lime, which cost me 30 
dollars, a stout price. 

Aug. 9. Our forces goes upon Ehod Island ; they meet 
with know resistance. 

Sept. 30. Sugar is now got to be Ts. pr pound. 

Nov. 10. Sold a load of hay which brought 6 dollars a 
hundred intolerable. 

1779, Feb. 16. I sold a load of hay for 9 dollars pr hun 

May 10. I was appointed to go to Tiverton to take com 
mand of the regiment their. 

July 1. This day I set out from Tiverton for home, and 
reacht here about 10 o clock at night. 

Nov. 12. English hay is now 20 dollars per hundred. 

1780, May 19. A day much to be remembered, so dark 
between twelve and one o clock, that people could not see to 
work. We were obliged to have a candle to eat dinner by ; 
it lookt very melloncaly indeed, there was but a little rain, 
and the evening was as remarkably dark. 

June 16. We had a town meeting to raise money to pay 
the men we re raising to go into the Continental army. We 
hear of Carolina being taken by the British troops. Gen. 
Lincoln had the command there. 

Nov. 19. English hay now sells for 33 per hundred. 

1781, Aug 5. The Pigeins flew thick and all went off and 
left us from these parts. 

Aug. 6. The British troops burnt New Lunnon in Coneti- 

Dec. 2. We had a contribution for the sufferers in South 
Carolina, and collected 52 hard dollars. 

Feb. 19. I bought me a new clock which cost 21 in 
hard money. 


1782, Aug. 10. Thirteen large French ships came into 
Boston harbor. 

Aug. 16. One of the above said ships run ashore on Lov- 
ells Island bar and bilged ; it was a 74 Gun ship. 

Oct. 22. Mr. Samuel Tolman dug his new well and went 
down to the bottom of it after he had don stoneing of it, and 
the stoneing gave way under him, and all caved in upon him, 
but he was miraculously saved by the stones wedging over 
his head, and so saved his life. 

Dec. 8. The French troops came into Boston from head 
quarters, and they sell their horses very cheap. 

Dec. 8. There was a ship burnt in our harbor. 

Dec. 24. The French fleet sailed out of our harbor. 

1783, April 3. Mr. John Capen s house was burnt with all 
his furneture, and poor Cornelius with it. 

[The Cornelius here spoken of, was Cornelius Dyer.] 
Sept. 8. There was a young man drowned above Leeds 

1784, Jan. 15. Grasimo Grasillia was hanged on Boston 
Neck for the murder of John Jonson. 

May. Mr. Jonathan Claps house was burnt, and the fire 
flew from his house to Mr. William Aliens barn, which was 
a quarter of a mile, which catcht in his dung heep and set his 
barn on fire, and then his house, and burnt them to ashes, 
with most all his furniture, with three horses and all his car- 

Oct. 15. The Marques De La fiat came to Boston. 

Nov. 13. There was three men executed at Cambridge, 
and I was there to see it. 

1785, Oct. 9. The Brants flew over the land exceeding 
many of them. 

Oct. 22. The Gees flew very thick. 

Oct. 27. Mr John Wiswell was found dead in his cano on 
Dorchester Neck. 

1786, Jan. 20. Alexander Glover had his hand tore to 
pieces by a cannon going off while he was a charging it. 

[Mr. Glover is well remembered by many of our people. 
He was known by the cognomen of " one-handed Glover."] 

March 1. Madam Wails comes to the Town and makes the 
selectmen to hop round. 

April 3. We dig out the ways ; the snow in many places 
six feet deep. 

April 23. 8 of the convicts made their escape from the 
Castle, but 5 of them were catcht in Isaac Howe s barn. 

[One of the convicts was the notorious Stephen Burroughs. 
This circumstance is mentioned in his life.] 


May 21. It has been observed that there has not 24 hours 
but the wind been East for this 8 weeks past, which is very 

1787, Jan. 12. Town Meeting and Training, and ordered 
to raise 41 men and go to Worcester to catch Shais and the 
rest of the Ensirgints which are in them parts. 

Jan. 19. Very could. Our soldiers march off for Wooster ; 
about 70 goes out of this town. 


Duel at Dorchester Point Three young Men drowned Annexation of 
Dorchester Neck to Boston Revival of Business at Commercial Pt. 
Gathering of the Second Church, and the Controversy with Rev. Dr. 
Cod man. 

IN June, 1801, on a pleasant Sunday morning, a 
duel was fought at Dorchester Point between two 
men by the names of Miller and Rand. This event 
caused great excitement. It was said to have been 
caused by Mr. Miller joking Mr. Rand about a lady, 
which the latter took in earnest and sent the chal 
lenge. It was also stated that Rand had the first 
shot, and that Miller wished to have the affair set 
tled without firing himself, but Rand would not con 
sent to it, and was killed. The survivors went off in 
great haste. When near the Five Corners, they 
stopped and told one of the citizens that there was 
a man at Dorchester Neck in distress, and " wanted 
some water very much." It appeared so strange a 
request, and the men were so earnest, that some in 
dividuals went to the Point and ascertained what the 


trouble was. A jury was called, and a verdict ren 
dered in accordance with the facts. 

1803. Dec. 24. A distressing event occurred, 
in the accidental drowning, between Dorchester 
Neck and Boston, of James Pike, aged 28 years ; 
David Williams, Jr., aged 20 ; and Moses Whitney, 
aged 17. They were buried from the meeting-house, 
and an appropriate discourse was delivered by Eev. 
Dr. Harris. 

In the latter part of 1803, several distinguished 
citizens of Boston began to take measures for the 
annexation of Dorchester Neck to Boston. The 
most conspicuous among them were H. G. Otis, 
Jonathan Mason, William Tudor and Gardiner 
Greene. It was thought that Boston could not well 
accommodate many more inhabitants, and that 
Dorchester Neck was the most accessible to it, and 
could easily be united by a bridge. Many of the 
citizens of Boston were opposed to this arrangement, 
and passed a vote, that if it was done, the selectmen 
of Boston should " lay out such streets, public 
squares and market places," as they should judge 
necessary, without compensation to the owners of 
the land. A petition was sent to the legislature in 
favor of annexing, signed by most of the land own 
ers at the Neck ; but a large portion of the Dor 
chester people strenuously opposed it. January 23, 
1804, the town chose a committee to remonstrate 
against it before the General Court, but voted that 
they had no objection to the building of a bridge. 
The committee were Ebenezer Wales, Esq., Stephen 


Badlam, Esq., John Howe, Esq., Mr. Samuel With- 
ington, Maj. James Robinson, Ebcnezcr Tolman, 
Lemuel Crane, Thomas Moseley, and Edward W. 
Baxter. They presented a strong remonstrance, 
and called another meeting of the town February 
16th following, when they made a written report, in 
which they stated that the legislative committee had 
reported in favor of the plan, without compensation 
to Dorchester. In a verbal report which followed, 
one of the Dorchester committee stated that six 
thousand dollars might be obtained, provided the 
town would no longer oppose the project. There 
was a probability that this would have had the de 
sired effect, and that a vote of assent would have 
passed, had not John Howe, Esq., who was a man of 
great influence in the town, strenuously opposed it. 
He said he felt confident that the legislature would 
pass no such law while the town was opposed to it. 
The town finally voted " not to accept the $6,000 
on the conditions they are offered." It is said that 
the petitioners afterwards, through H. G. Otis, offer 
ed the town $20,000 if they would not oppose the bill 
further ; but all offers were rejected, and the com 
mittee continued to work resolutely to prevent the 
annexation. The bill, however, was passed March 
6, 1804. The opposers to the measure lived up to 
a principle, and not only lost the land, but the 
money that they might otherwise have had. The 
largest land-holder on the Neck, who then owned 
fifty-two acres, was likewise opposed to the measure, 
and never gave his consent to the separation from 


Dorchester, although the price of land soon went 
up to nearly ten times its former value, in con 
sequence, and in the prospect of a bridge across the 
water to Boston. It was about four miles from the 
Neck to Bcston by land, and too few people lived 
there only about a dozen families to support a 
ferry. After a long and furious struggle about the 
location of a bridge between Boston and this place, 
the present South bridge was completed in the sum 
mer of 1805, at a cost of about $56,000. 

Shortly after the completion of the bridge, the 
Dorchester turnpike extending from the easterly 
end of the bridge to Milton Lower Mills was built. 
It was a great work for that particular time, but was 
carried forward by private enterprise, and a toll was 
established. The turnpike proved quite a poor 
investment for many years, and some of the stock 
holders were very glad to give away their shares. 
There were already, before the completion of the 
South Bridge and Turnpike, too many tolls to pay 
between the South Shore and Boston, to warrant 
two more, and few availed themselves of the short 
ened distance, but continued the old way through 
Roxbury. The turnpike eventually became a very 
lucrative property, especially to those who purchased 
shares at a reduced price. The progressive spirit of 
the age, however, has a great antipathy to paying 
money in the shape of tolls, and this turnpike was 
made free by private subscription in the year 1854. 
It has been accepted as a public highway by the 
town, and is now known as Dorchester Avenue. A 


railway from Boston, for horse-cars, was constructed 
over this Avenue in 1856-57. 

It was about this time, or shortly after, that Com 
mercial Point was purchased by Messrs. Newell & 
Niles, and opened as a place of business. A pro 
ject was formed and a company raised to erect a dam 
from the aforesaid Point across Mill Creek to Leeds s 
Point, in order to have water sufficient to erect a 
number of mills and establishments for manufactur 
ing purposes. The owners of the old Tileston mill, 
situated above the proposed dam, not being satisfied 
with the arrangement, made objections, which de 
feated the plan, and a bridge instead of a dam was 
built ; but standing in an exposed place, it did not 
many years resist the wear and tear of storms and 
travel, and went to pieces, although the proprietors 
spent considerable sums of money to keep it in re 
pair. It was, however, rebuilt by the town several 
years after. Newell & Niles having been unfortu 
nate in business, the Point was neglected, the build 
ings became dilapidated, and the place was for a long 
while neglected. For a time during the war of 1812, 
a regiment of soldiers was* stationed there. About 
1832 the place was again put in order, the fishing 
business was carried on to a considerable extent, and 
several whaling vessels were fitted out there. After 
a few years the concern was sold out, and the Point 
is now used for the coal and lumber business, 
and has a large forge erected on its north-eastern 

Commercial Point was formerly called Tenean, 



which was probably the Indian name for the place. 
It is a beautiful spot in the easterly part of the town, 
at the mouth of Neponset River, with sufficient 
depth of water for ships to pass up to its wharves. 
It is favorably located for a large business, but it 
will undoubtedly be long before the vision of the 
poet, as embodied in the following lines, is ful 
filled. They were written shortly after the comple 
tion of the first bridge, and are copied from the 
manuscript of the author, Samuel Davis, Esq., of 
Plymouth, Mass., brother of the late Judge John 

Where DORCHESTER her lucid bosom swells, 
Courts her young navies, and the storm repels ; 
High on the Mount, amid the fragrant air, 
Hope stood sublime, and waved her auburn hair ; 
Calmed with her rosy smile the tossing deep, 
And with sweet accents charmed the winds to sleep. 
To southern plains she stretched her snowy hand, 
High- waving woods and sea-encircled strand 
" Hear me (she cried) ye rising realms record 
Time s opening scenes, and TRUTH S unerring word. 
There shall broad streets their stately walls extend, 
The CIRCUS widen and the CRESCENT bend ; 
There, from famed cities, o er the ciiltured land 
Shall bright canals and solid roads expand 
There the proud arch, colossus-like, bestride 
Yon circling bay, and bound the chasing tide ; 
Embellished villas crown the landscape scene, 
Farms wave with gold, and orchards blush between. 
There shall tall spires and dome-capped towers ascend, 
And piers and quays their massive structures blend 
While with each breeze approaching vessels glide, 
And eastern treasures waft on every tide." 
Then ceased the nymph tumultuous echoes roar, 
And Joy s loud voice was heard from shore to shore. 
Her graceful steps, descending, pressed the plain, 
And Peace, and Art, and Labor joined her train. 


In the course of years, the inhabitants of the town 
had so increased as to require another place of wor 
ship. The difficulties with the Indians, the wars, 
and inducements for emigration, had kept the num 
ber so small as to make one meeting-house suffice for 
the whole town. Now, fifty years later, there are 
eighteen churches in the same territory, including 
ten in that part known as South Boston. The peo 
ple were well united in their minister, the Rev. Mr. 
Harris, and want of room for public worship on the 
Sabbath was the only cause which led to the forma 
tion of another church about sixty families, remote 
from the meeting-house, being in the habit of wor 
shipping in neighboring towns. Accordingly, in 

1805, a project was formed for erecting another 
house, one hundred and thirteen shares were sub 
scribed for that purpose, and about an acre of land 
was purchased for a site on the upper road, at the 
corner of Washington and Centre Streets. The 
building was soon commenced, the raising of it was 
begun Aug. 7, 1805, and it was dedicated Oct. 30, 

1806. Dr. Harris preached the sermon on the occa 
sion, from Acts ii. 42, which was printed. The 
building is 68 feet by 74, the posts 33 feet high, 
with a tower and steeple. The church was gather 
ed January 1, 1808, on which occasion a sermon 
was preached by Rev. John Pierce, of Brookline, and 
the fellowship of the churches expressed by the Rev. 
Eliphalet Porter, D.D., of Roxbury. The council 
were as follows : From the Second Church in Bos 
ton, Rev. John Lathrop, I^.D. ; Hon. Samuel Park- 


man, delegate. First Church in Roxbury, Rev. 
Eliphalet Porter, D.D. ; Mr. John Clap, delegate. 
The Third Church in Roxbury, Rev. Thomas Gray ; 
Dea. Nathaniel Weld, delegate. The Church in 
Brookline, Rev. John Pierce ; Dea. John Robinson, 
delegate. The Church in Dorchester, Rev. T. M. 
Harris ; Dea. Edward Pierce and Dea. James Hum 
phreys, delegates. The sermon, fellowship of the 
Churches, and the proceedings of the Council, were 
printed at the unanimous request and vote of the 
new church. 

The church met Sept. 9, 1808, for the purpose of 
electing a pastor, and chose Rev. Mr. Harris for 
Moderator and Clerk. He opened the meeting with 
prayer, and the church, having voted that they were 
ready to proceed to a choice by written votes, it 
appeared that every vote was for Mr. John Codman, 
of Boston, a graduate of Harvard College ; and on 
September 20th following, the Parish confirmed 
the doings with but four dissenting votes. After 
taking a short time for consideration, he accepted 
the call, and was ordained Dec. 7th, 1808. The 
sermon on the occasion was preached by Rev. Wil 
liam E. Channing, of Boston. 

Mr. Codman was a son of John Codman, Esq., of 
Boston, of a wealthy and influential family, and the 
Society started under circumstances unusually favor 
able. For about one year they moved on harmoni 
ously, with only occasional misgivings as to the 
final result, among some of those most interested. 
This was about the time that party lines were begin- 


ning to be drawn between the liberal and rigid por 
tions of the New England churches, which had for 
merly been on friendly terms, the ministers connect 
ed with each having thus far freely exchanged pul 
pits with those of the other party. Mr. Codman was 
of the rigid, while most of the leading men of his 
parish were of the liberal school, and his exchanges 
were principally with those of the clergy who agreed 
with him ; consequently his hearers were debarred 
from hearing their favorite ministers, to whom they 
had been in the habit of listening. On November 
10th, 1809, an address, signed by Edmund Baker, 
Benjamin Fuller, Thomas Crehore, and thirty-seven 
others, was sent to Mr. C. in relation to his ex 
changes, expressing their uneasiness and disappoint 
ment in his not exchanging with the ministers who 
composed the Boston Association. The address and 
letter accompanying it were ably and politely drawn 
up. The answer to the same, although polite and 
very friendly, had a few sharp corners, and from this 
time it may be fairly said that the war broke out. 

It has been asserted, and no doubt with truth, 
that Mr. Codman was sustained and urged on in this 
matter by some of his brother clergymen, who wished 
the party lines denned, and who knew that his stand 
ing, temperament and family wealth constituted him 
the man for the occasion. The leading persons of 
his parish were able men, and well known in the 
town and vicinity, and w r ere determined, on the or 
ganization of the new church, to obtain the best 
man to be found. Their disappointment, therefore, 


was great, at the occurrence of these difficulties^ and 
at finding the breach so fast widening. In August, 
1810, an advertisement appeared in the Boston Cen- 
tinel, offering thirty-eight pews in the meeting-house 
for sale; and on December 1, following, another one 
in the Centinel and Chronicle, offering sixty-nine 
pews, and containing a slur upon Mr. Codman. Octo 
ber 22d, of the same year, the parish chose a com 
mittee, consisting of Thomas Tileston, Thomas Cre- 
hore and Benjamin Pierce, to write to the ministers 
in the neighboring towns, who were in the habit of 
exchanging with Mr. Codman, and request them 
" not to preach in his pulpit any more," until the 
difficulties were removed. This brought letters of a 
not very mild or peaceful character from some of 
the clergy thus addressed. The controversy grew 
warmer and more personal, a long correspondence 
took place, two councils were called, and the parish 
twice voted that the connection between them and 
Mr. Codman was dissolved. On the Sunday subse 
quent to November 24th, 1812, another minister was 
procured by the parish to officiate, and a guard 
placed on the pulpit stairs to prevent Mr. Codman s 
entrance. After an ineffectual attempt to ascend the 
stairs, he commenced the morning services, standing 
below, before the other minister arrived, and finish 
ed them without interruption. He then retired 
with his friends, when Mr. Warren Pierce, Preceptor 
of Milton Academy, whom the parish had engaged, 
preached from the pulpit, retaining possession thereof 
during a short intermission, and after a second 


service he and his audience retired. Mr. Codman 
occupied the pulpit in the latter part of the after 
noon so that there was no lack of preaching on 
that day. 

To show in what respect the parties differed in re 
gard to men and measures, the following letters are 
published. They were written a short time before 
the controversy was ended, and are indicative of the 
proclivities of a large portion of the clergy then in 
this vicinity. The first is from Thomas Tileston, 
Esq., chairman of the Committee of the Parish, to 
the Rev. Mr. Codman. 

DORCHESTER, DEC. 30, 1811. 

REV D SIR, The Parish Committee met agreeably to your 
appointment, on Friday last, and were met by part of the 
Church Committee. Not hearing of your indisposition until 
that time, and the gentlemen who met us not being authorized 
to enter fully into the business of choosing a Council, no 
business of course could be transacted. 

It was, however, suggested by the chairman of the Church 
Committee, that you was willing to agree upon any number 
of ministers to compose the Council that might be agreeable 
to them. The Committee are not particular as to the exact 
number that may compose the Council, but are of opinion that 
five or seven clergymen, &c., will form a Council sufficiently 

The gentlemen also mentioned to the Committee the pro 
priety of sending you a number of names, previous to the 
adjournment on Thursday next, that you might have an op 
portunity of choosing from the list a gentleman as umpire 
of the Council. 

The Committee therefore agree, Sir, to send you the sub 
joined (large and respectable) list of ministers, for you to 
make your selection for the above purpose. 

If either of the gentlemen proposed should meet your ap 
probation, you are requested to give the Committee informa 
tion as early as possible, in order that they may be prepared 
to complete the whole business at the adjournment. Should 


you wholly reject the list, the Committee are desirous that 
you would assign your reasons therefor. 

Rev. Dr. Barnard, Salem. Rev. Dr. Kirkland, Cambridge. 

Dr. Prince, 
Dr. Lathrop, Boston. 
Dr. Reed, Bridgewater. 
Mr. Whiting, Norihboro . 
Dr. Elliot, Boston. 
Dr. Porter, Boxbury. 
Mr. Bradford, " 
Mr. Gray, " 

Mr. Pierce, Brookline, 
Mr. Eliot, Water town. 
Mr. Thatcher, Dedham. 
Dr. Kendall, Weston. 

Dr. Ware, 
Prof. McKean, " 
Mr. Foster, Brighton. 
Mr. Riply, Concord. 
Mr. Abbot, Beverly. 
Mr. Coleman, Hingham. 
Mr. Whitney, 
Mr. Whitney, Quincy. 
Mr. Allyn, Duxbury. 
Mr. Thayer, Lancaster. 
Mr. Popkins, Newbury. 
Dr. Bancroft, Worcester. 

N. B. Should your health prevent your meeting the Com 
mittee on Thursday next, you are requested to give the 
Committee notice seasonably, to prevent their attendance. 
Yours, &c. T. T. 


DEAR SIR, Your note of the 30th inst. was duly received. 
The state of the weather and of my health is such that it will 
not be prudent for me to meet the Committee to-morrow. 

As to the number of which the proposed Council is to con 
sist, it appears to me proper, upon farther consideration, 
that, as the question to be submitted to another Council is 
the same which was submitted to the last, it should be decid 
ed by, at least, an equal number. 

As it is desirable that that member of the Council to be 
mutually agreed upon should be so impartial, that both par 
ties can unite in the choice, I cannot conceive upon what 
principle you have arranged, in your "large and respectable " 
list of ministers, those who have already, in the most public 
manner, expressed their opinions upon the question to be sub 
mitted to another Council, and those with whom I have not 
exchanged ministerial labors in the Boston Association, which 
constitutes the ostensible ground of your complaint. 

Justice requires that the terms of submission of your com 
plaints and grievances against me should be equal. I shall 
not, therefore, deny you the privilege of choosing either of the 
six respectable ministers who have already decided the same 
question in my favor ; and, as I have not selected any from 
your list, I beg leave to propose one for your consideration, 



formed on similar principles, equally " large and respectable." 
" Should you wholly reject this list," I will not insist upon 
your " assigning your reasons," as I conceive delicacy 
equally forbids it on your part and on mine, but will thank 
you to send me a list of impartial men, and if I cannot select 
one, I will send you a list of equal number. In this way we 
may possibly find one in whom we can unite. 
With the usual compliments of the season, 

I am, Sir, and Gentlemen of the Committee, 
With due respect, your friend and Pastor, 

DORCHESTER, JAN. 1, 1812. 

Thomas Tileston, Esq., Chairman of the Committee 
of the Second Parish in Dorchester. 

N. B. If you should show this list, I trust you will have 
the candor to show the one you sent me, and my reasons 
assigned herein for sending you a list of men, some of whom 
have already expressed their opinions which I should not 
have thought of doing, except in answer to your list. 

Rev. Dr. Prentiss, Medfield. } Rev. 
Dr. Lyman, Hatfield. 
Mr. Greenough, Newton. 
Dr. Austin, Worcester. 
Dr. Morse, Charlestown. 
Dr. Worcester, Salem* 
Dr. Hopkins, 
Mr. Emerson, 
Dr. Griffin, Boston. 
Dr. Emmons, Franklin. 
Dr. Spring, Newburyport. 
Dr. Crane, Northbridge. 
Dr. Woods, Andover. 

The six first named clergymen belonged to the old 

Prof. Stuart, Andover. 
Mr. Niles, Abington. 
Mr. Litchfield, Carlisle. 
Mr. TiompkmSfHaverhilL 
Mr. Dickinson, Holliston. 
Mr. Storrs,Longmeadow. 
Mr. Packard, Shelburne. 
Mr. Strong, Randolph. 
Mr. Sanburn, Reading. 
Mr. Emerson, " 
Mr. Emerson, Beverly. 
Mr. Walker, Danvers. 
Mr. Payson, Portland. 


Those acquainted with the names given in these 
two lists, will see the nature of the differences which 
divided the parish from its minister. The members 
opposed to Mr. Codman insisted, that in forming a 
new Society it was from urgent necessity, and not 
from a desire of change ; that they expected and 


desired to hear the same preachers as before, and 
that Mr. Codman having joined the Boston Associa 
tion, it was presumed he would exchange with all 
its members. Mr. Codman and his friends under 
stood the case differently, and referred their oppo 
nents to his confession of faith, read before the or 
daining council, as evidence that he was of the Cal- 
vinistic school that he believed in the Trinity, the 
Assembly s Catechism, and in general to the Confes 
sion of Faith drawn up in 1680 and recommended 
to the Congregational Churches of Massachusetts. 

Not long after the proceedings which prevented 
Mr. Codman from entering the pulpit, the party op 
posed to the minister agreed to sell their pews and 
leave the parish. Thus ended an ecclesiastical quar 
rel, which was carried on with great violence and 
acrimony, especially towards its close. It was 
full twenty years after the last-named public act, 
before the bitter effects of the controversy were 
effaced ; but now every thing is forgotten, respect and 
good will exist between all the different parishes in 
town, and peace is within their own borders. Eve 
ry prominent mover in the affair is dead, and the 
matter is recorded only as a part of the history of 
the town that could not properly be omitted. 



Political Parties New Meeting-house of the First Parish Situation of 
Dorchester Houses Population Dress and Customs of our Ances 

IN political matters Dorchester has generally been 
conservative. In the days of the Revolution it was 
firm and reliable, with but few tories within its bor 
ders. Lieut. Gov. Thomas Oliver was one of these, 
and a son of Gen. Estes Hatch was another. These 
were the most prominent, and left the place. Lieut. 
Gov. Oliver lived in the house now occupied by 
Messrs. George and John Richardson, at the Five 
Corners. From 1806 to 1813 a majority of the 
voters were of the Republican party ; but from that 
time, so long as John Brooks was Governor, were 
on the Federal side. There were many very bitter 
opponents to the war of 1812 in the town, and party 
spirit was carried to great extremes. A regiment 
from the western part of the State was stationed 
awhile during the war at Commercial Point. After 
the administration of Gov. Brooks ceased, a majority 
of the town voted for William Eustis. Both of these 
persons had been actors in the American Revolution, 
and for that class of persons the town felt a peculiar 
regard, and in their administrations had the fullest 

The great gale of September, 1815, so shattered 
the old meeting-house, that it became necessary to 
erect a new edifice, and the present church of the 


First Parish was built in 1816, and dedicated in De 
cember of that year. It was a work of great import 
ance to the parish at that time, it being the year suc 
ceeding the close of the war; but the members were 
united, and the work was successful. The plans 
w r ere by Oliver Warren, one of the best architects of 
these days. The building cost upwards of $21,000, 
and is remarkable for its great strength. Its size is 
as follows : 72 feet 9 inches long and 62 feet wide ; 
the height of the steeple 128 feet 10 inches, and 
is one of the most beautiful in the State. Its elevat 
ed position makes it a mark for the lightning, from 
which it has slightly suffered two or three times. 

The location of Dorchester is picturesque, and even 
elegant. It lies at the head of Dorchester bay, which 
is southerly of and adjoining Boston harbor. As 
you approach it from the sea, its houses may be seen 
on its airy hills, or nestled in its fertile vales, pre 
senting a landscape of great beauty. The surface of 
the ground is uneven enough to give that agreeable 
variety of hill and dale so charming to a poet s eye. 
Several of the hills afford most magnificent pros 
pects, so that the most romantic and critical might 
be entirely satisfied. Jones s hill,* on the north ; 
Pope s hill, on the south-east ; Bird s hill, or Mt. 
Ida ; Mt. Bowdoin, near the centre ; Duncan s, or 
Codman s, on the south ; arid several other emi 
nences, afford extensive views of cities, country 

* It is believed that portions of twenty-one cities and towns can be 
seen from this eminence. 


towns, villages, highlands, ocean, rivers, islands, 
and vessels. Well might one exclaim of such a 
prospect, " If this country be not rich, then is the 
whole world poor." 

Strangers from all parts of the country, especially 
descendants from its early settlers, visit this ancient 
town, to see its old bury ing-ground, to ascend its 
hills and admire its landscapes, and are invariably 
delighted with its appearance. Most of the dwell 
ings being surrounded with trees, both for foliage 
and for fruit, it has a rural appearance, although 
near the metropolis of New England and the most 
cultivated society in the land. 

It is interesting to glance at the progress of our 
townsmen in regard to their dwelling-houses; and 
what would apply here, would also apply to most 
of the towns in the vicinity. A great portion of 
their time for the first two years, except that ab 
solutely required for collecting food and the other 
necessaries of life, was occupied in arranging the set 
tlement, and granting and laying out lands. It ap 
pears that each one had liberty to choose his own 
homestead, but the other lands were distributed by 
grants. A large portion of the houses were built 
of logs, and covered with thatch which grew upon 
the salt marshes. In their great care and conside 
ration for the wants of the community and of new 
comers (for which our fathers were very remarka 
ble), they reserved a piece of marsh land for the free 
use of the inhabitants ; but the greediness of their 
descendants seems to have swallowed it up, for it 



does not now appear in the list of town property, 
nor is there any account of its sale. 

As by industry and indefatigable labor the inha 
bitants increased their material possessions, a better 
class of buildings took the place of their first rude 
huts, and, like their clothing, maintained a similar 
ity of style and finish ; but as the timber used in 
their construction was principally of oak, they were 
remarkably well calculated to stand the test of time 
and the fierceness of the tempests. 


The picture here presented was drawn for Samuel 
Blake, Esq., and used by him in his genealogical 
history of the Blakes of Dorchester. This house 
was undoubtedly built by Elder James Blake, previ 
ous to 1650, and was one of the best and most comely 
of that time. The hands of the carpenter and painter 
have altered its outward appearance, and the one- 
story addition. on the right was placed there within 
the last quarter of a century. This house stands 
in Cottage Street, near the Five Corners, about 


twenty rods north from the street. It is now owned 
and occupied by Mrs. Jane Williams, but was in 
the Blake family from the time of its erection until 

In the manner of conducting funerals, since the 
settlement of the town, there has been a great 
change in many respects certainly for the better. 
In their desire to avoid the formality of the Episco 
pal Church, our ancestors appear to have entirely 
omitted prayers on these occasions ; but it is pro 
bable they often had sermons and addresses, and 
perhaps singing. It has been said that the first 
prayer offered at a funeral in Boston, was at the 
burial of Ilev. Dr. Mayhew, in 1766, although 
prayers had been quite frequent in the neighboring 
towns, even previous to the year 1700. But in regard 
to some of their observances on these occasions, great 
extravagance was indulged in. It is singular that 
a people so plain and precise should have gone to 
such extremes at these solemn seasons. This was 
more particularly the case at the funerals of those of 
rank, influence or wealth. In looking over old 
papers relating to the estates of deceased persons, 
many bills are found which strangely contrast with 
bills for funeral expenses in these days. West In 
dia rum, Lisbon wine, lemons, sugar, pipes, tobacco, 
gloves, scarfs, hat-bands, and sometimes gold rings, 
were provided, and especially at the funerals of min 
isters, which were paid at the public charge. Some 
times these amounts were large enough to impove 
rish a small estate, not unfrequently being 100 
or even 200. At the funeral of Rev. J. Danforth, 


of this town, in 1730, the expenses were 59 4s. 4</., 
exclusive of mourning clothes. It was usual for a 
whole neighborhood to attend funerals, and all busi 
ness and pleasure gave way to them ; and sorry arc 
we to add, that it was not an uncommon thing for 
persons to attend for the sake of the entertainment, 
and sometimes they indulged too freely. The corpse 
was placed upon a bier, and carried to the grave on 
the shoulders of friends and neighbors ; and when 
the distance was great, two or three sets of bearers 
officiated by turns. Many of the present generation 
remember this mode of burial. The Continental 
Congress, by a vote passed in 1774, took the first 
great initiative in discouraging the gifts and other 
costly expenses at funerals. 

In the selection of a burial place, the great object 
of our ancestors appears to have been to secure a 
place of easy digging, provided the land was of no 
great use for other purposes. For this reason we 
see so many otherwise inappropriate places set apart 
for this purpose. In grave-stones, too, what an ad 
vance has been made in point of taste ! First we 
had, on the ancient stones, the horrible skull and 
cross-bones ; then a dismal-looking face, with cross- 
bones omitted ; afterwards a face more genial to look 
upon ; then the weeping willow over an urn ; the wil 
low without the urn soon followed ; then the broken 
shaft ; and, later, a butterfly soaring upwards from the 
chrysalis. Surely, taking a wise view of life and 
immortality, here has been one of the greatest of im 
provements. Instead of the sombre and the terrific, 
now appear the genial and the angelic ; instead of the 


place of skulls and carrion, evergreens and flowers 
perennial making our cemeteries the Christian por 
tal (when the curtain of mortality shall be withdrawn) 
to a celestial day. 

Our ancestors having been elbowed about so much 
in England, had no idea of being cramped for want 
of room after their arrival here ; they therefore, in 
their new settlements, took special care to secure 
land enough around their dwellings. As early as 
1635, when the scheme of removing to the banks of 
Connecticut river was contemplated, the want of 
room was a reason given for the expedition. The 
same want was probably felt by the neighboring 
towns, and was one of the considerations which led 
the General Court to extend the borders of the plan 
tations, as an inducement for the settlers to remain ; 
although enlarging the boundary line added no ad 
ditional acres to the colony. Dorchester was at this 
time enlarged, so that it reached from Boston on the 
north, to within 160 rods of Rhode Island on the 
south ; yet now, in 1857, after having been largely 
shorn of its dimensions to build up new towns and 
portions of towns, it has plenty of room remaining. 
It was customary for many persons, on their arrival 
in the colony, to take up their abode with their 
friends until they had decided where to locate ; and 
many so remained in Dorchester, so that its perma 
nent inhabitants increased but very slowly for the 
first hundred years after its settlement. The births 
in the town, from 1657 to the end of 1734, a period 
of 78 years, were 2,416 ; while the deaths in the 
town for the same period were only 921 which 


shows that many who were born here must have 
died elsewhere. In seating the people in the meet 
ing-house, in 1692, there were seats provided for 
171 men and 180 women, and on Sundays they were 
expected to be in their seats. The rateable polls in 
the town, in 1641, were " not lesse in number than 
six score or theraboute," which multiplied by five, 
the usual mode of computing the population, would 
give 600 inhabitants. In 1727 there were rateable 
polls, 252; this would give, including 17 slaves, 
1,277. The number of houses at that time was 117. 
In March, 1776, the number of inhabitants, includ 
ing 35 negroes and mulattoes, was 1,550. After 
this last date, the national censuses, from 1790 to 
1850, show the population to have been as follows : 

Year. Houses. Population. 

1790 256 1,722 

1800 305 2,347 

1810 2,930 

1820 3,684 

1830 4,064 

1840 4,458 

1850 7,968 

By censuses of the State and town, the population 
was as follows : 

By the town in 1840 4,875 

1846 6,500 

1848 7,386 

By the State in 1855 8,357 

In giving an account of the dress and early habits 
of our ancestors, we can offer nothing that will com 
pare with the admirable description given by Rev. 


Charles Brooks, in his History of Medford, Mass. 
It applies as well to families on the banks of the 
Neponset as to those on the banks of the Mystic. 
Of their dress he says : 

" The common c very-day dress of our ancestors was very 
plain, strong, and comfortable ; but their Sunday suits were 
expensive, elaborate, and ornamental. The men, in their 
Sunday attire, wore broad-brimmed hats, turned up into three 
corners, with loops at the side, showing full bush-wigs be 
neath them ; long coats, the very opposite of the swallow 
tails, having large pocket-folds and cuffs, and without collars, 
the buttons either plated or of pure silver, and of the size of 
half a dollar ; vests, also without collars, but very long, hav 
ing graceful pendulous lappet-pockets ; shirts, with bosoms 
and wrist ruffles, and with gold and silver buckles at the 
wrist, united by a link ; the neckcloths or scarfs of fine linen, 
or figured stuff, or embroidered, the ends hanging loosely. 
Small-clothes were in fashion, and only reached a little below 
the knees, where they were ornamented with silver buckles 
of liberal size ; the legs were covered with gray stockings, 
and the feet with shoes, ornamented with straps and silver 
buckles. Boots were sometimes worn, having broad white 
tops ; gloves, on great occasions, and mittens in the winter. 
A gentleman, with his cocked-up hat and white bush-wig ; 
his chocolate-colored coat, buff vest, and small-clothes ; his 
brown stockings and black shoes ; his ruffles, buckles, and but 
tons presented an imposing figure, and showed a man who 
would probably demean himself with dignity and intelligence. 

" The best dress of the rich was very costly : The scarlet 
coat, wadded skirts, full sleeves, cuffs reaching to the elbows, 
wristbands fringed with lace ; embroidered bands, tassels, 
gold buttons ; vests fringed with lace ; and small-clothes with 
puffs, points, buckles, &c. ; a sword hanging by the side. 

" The visiting-dress of the ladies was more costly, compli 
cated and ornamental than their husbands or brothers wore. 
But with them we have little to do in this brief notice, and 
therefore leave to others the description of their coiffures, 


which were so high as to bring their faces almost into the 
middle of their bodies ; their black silk and satin bonnets ; 
their gowns, so extremely long-waisted ; their tight sleeves, 
which were sometimes very short, with an immense frill at 
the elbow ; their spreading hoops and long trails ; their high- 
heeled shoes, and their rich brocades, flounces, spangles, 
embroidered aprons, &c. Their dress on the sabbath was 
simple, secure, and modest : A cheap straw bonnet, with only 
one bow without, and no ornament but the face within ; a 
calico dress, of sober colors, high up in the neck, with a 
simple white muslin collar just peeping round the top ; a neat 
little shawl, and a stout pair of shoes these presented to 
the eye the Puritan costume of our ancestral and pious 

In regard to some of their domestic habits, Mr. 
Brooks observes: 

" We may get the truest ideas of these by watching, 
through two days, all the plans and movements of a fami 
ly in their log-hut. We will take Saturday and Sunday. Let 
us look closely. The father is a strong man of forty-six, with 
a true Puritan heart ; and his wife is seven years his junior, 
with good health and without anxiety. Their first child is a 
son, eighteen years old ; the next is a daughter of sixteen ; 
then come three boys, their ages fourteen, eleven, and eight ; 
and the youngest child is a daughter aged six. Of hired men 
or women, they had none. Extra help came from what they 
called change work. 

" Let us first mark the cares and labors of the farmer and 
his boys. Saturday was a busy day with them ; although 
one day s or one year s experience was almost exactly like 
another s. 

" To rise early was not considered worthy of any remark ; 
while not rising early would have been deemed a crime. To 
be up before daylight was a matter of course with every 
family. The father was expected to move first ; to strike a 
light with flint and steel ; to kindle a fire under the kettle in 
Avhich the water for the porridge was to be boiled. This done, 


he calls the boys, who soon appear, and after them the 
mother arid daughter. One wooden wash-basin, in the sink, 
served each in turn for morning ablutions ; and one roller 
sufficed for wiping all faces. Their dress is suited to their 
work. The father wears an old cocked-up hat, or a thick 
cotton cap ; no cravat, but a low shirt-collar ; a short frock of 
strongest warp ; a pair of old leather breeches ; and leggins, 
which were confined above the knee, and tied over the shoe 
with a string round the middle of the foot. The boys had 
cotton caps on their heads, or the remnants of old felt-hats ; 
short jackets, of the coarsest fabric ; leather breeches, and 
leggins. By earliest dawn, the father and his three eldest 
sons are in the cow-yard, milking. This over, the youngest 
son drives the cows to pasture, and hastens back to the next 
duties. The hogs have received their allowance of butter 
milk. The morning s milk has been strained and set for 
cream, or heated to begin a cheese. Then come the reading 
of the sacred Scriptures and the family prayers. Immediately 
afterwards follows the breakfast, which in winter is by candle 
light, and in summer by dawn-light. The breakfast, com 
menced by asking a blessing and closed by returning 
thanks/ consists of pea-porridge, dealt out, before sitting 
down, in small wooden bowls. A small central dish has in it 
some salted shad and smoked alewives ; or peradventure some 
fresh eels which the boys caught from the river the evening 
before. With these, brown bread and beer are served ; and 
here ended the usual variety. Sometimes the children were 
regaled with samp and milk, and the father with boiled salt 
pork. From the breakfast-table the father and sons repair to 
the field, and are at work by six o clock. With their tools, 
they have taken the family-gun, not so much from fear of In 
dians, as the hope of securing some valuable game. Some 
times a fine deer crosses their field, on his way to the river ; 
and, if they are so fortunate as to take him, it makes a feast- 
week at home ; for every part is eaten. Salted and smoked, 
it was deemed a very savory dish. By half-past 8 o clock, 
our laborers in the field are ready for the usual lunch, which 
consists of smoked shad, bread and cheese, and cider. Thus 


sustained till a quarter before twelve, they hear the dinner- 
horn announcing what the boys had been expecting with im 
patience dinner. All hands break off and start for home, 
and are ready to sit down at the table just as the sun is 
square on the window-ledge, and the sand in the hour-glass 
is out. A blessing craved, they begin with the Indian pud 
ding, and relish it with a little molasses. Next come a piece 
of broiled salt pork, or black broth, fried eggs, brown bread, 
cabbage, and cider. They denominated their dinner boiled 
victuals ; and their plates, wooden trenchers. * * * Dinner 
despatched in fifteen minutes, the time till one o clock was 
called nooning/ when each laborer was free to sleep or play. 
Nooning over, they repair to the fields, and find that a fox 
or wolf has killed a sheep, and eaten his dinner. The father 
takes his gun and hastens in search, telling the boys to keep 
at their work, and, if they see the fox, to whistle with all 
their might. The fox, that took great pains to be there 
when the owner was away, now takes great pains to be away 
when the owner is there. A drink of good beer all round, 
at three o clock, is the only relief in the afternoon s toil, 
which ends at five ; at which hour the youngest son drives 
home the cows, and the milking is finished at six. The hogs 
and sheep are now called to their enclosures near the barn, 
where the faithful dog will guard them from their night- 
prowling enemies. All things being safe, supper is ready. 
The father takes a slice of cold broiled pork, the usual brown 
bread, and a mug of beer, while the boys are regaled with 
milk porridge or hasty-pudding. In their season, they had 
water-melons and musk-melons ; and, for extra occasions, a 
little cherry wine. Sometimes they had boiled Indian corn, 
mixed with kidney-beans. Into bean and pea porridge they 
put a slice of salted venison. They had also succatash, 
which is corn and beans boiled together. The meat of the 
shag-bark was dried and pounded, and then put into their 
porridge to thicken it. The barley fire-cake was served at 
breakfast. They parched corn, and pounded it, and made it 
into a nokake. Baked pumpkins were common. The extra 
dish, for company, was a cake made of strawberries and 


parched corn. The same religious exercises as were offered 
at dinner are now repeated. At seven o clock, a neighbor 
calls, not to ask the news, for there is none, but to propose a 
change of work for next Tuesday. This is agreed to; and, 
as our ancestors made up in hearty welcome what they want 
ed in luxuries, a mug .of cider is drunk, by way of entertain 
ment ; and half past seven finds the neighbor gone, and the 
household ready for family prayers. The Scriptures are read 
in turn, the Old Testament in the morning, and the New at 
night. Eight o clock records the entire family in bed, ex 
cept one of the boys, who has an inquisitive mind, and has 
borrowed a book on witchcraft : and he is allowed to sit up 
till nine, and read by the light of a pitch-pine knot, stuck 
into a hole in the chimney corner. 

" This simple round of needful duties must be daily repeat 
ed through the six months of warm weather, and a yet more 
simple routine for the remainder of the year. 

"Now let us see how the mother and daughters get 
through that Saturday in the log-hut. Their house which 
had two covered rooms below, a kitchen that went up to the 
roof, and two lofts as attic chambers required very little 
care ; and the beds could be made in an incredibly short time. 
The first duty of the morning was cooking the breakfast ; and, 
after the water was boiling, it needed but thirty minutes to 
complete the process. The daughters set the table, whose 
furniture consisted of wooden plates, pewter spoons, two 
knives and forks, the father s dish of smoked shad, the boys 
bowls of pea-porridge, a plate of brown bread and a mug of 
cider. To wash up and clear off the whole, after breakfast, 
needed but fifteen minutes of brisk application by the two 
daughters. The lunch prepared for the men has gone with 
them to the field ; and now the cheese must be made, and it 
must be made with care. This takes till 8 o clock ; and hard 
work it is, the turning of the cheeses harder still. Sat 
urday is baking day ; and the three females* are busy in pre 
paring for the event. The oven had its opening on the out 
side of the house, behind the chimney, and was double the 
size of modern ones. One brings wood to heat the oven ; 


another gets the Indian meal and rye ; a third brings a pail 
of water. Here are beans to be picked over, pork to be 
cut, and dough to be kneaded. The kitchen is busy ; all 
hands are at work ; and the baking for seven days cannot 
be prepared in less than three hours. Eleven o clock has 
unexpectedly come, and it demands that dinner should be 
thought of ; and all other business is suspended to provide 
for that. At the fixed moment, the elder daughter blows the 
horn ; and the laborers from the field are anon at their dinner. 
No washing up of dinner-things to-day till after the batch is 
set in. The oven is soon cleared of fire, swept and dusted ; 
and then go into the hottest part the large oval lumps of 
brown-bread dough, because they require the strongest heat. 
Next comes the huge stone pot of beans, with its top cover 
ed by a thick slice of pork ; and beside it the Indian pud 
ding in a broad, deep, earthen bowl. The oven s mouth is 
stopped with a piece of plank, and the crevices arc plastered 
up with clay. Two o clock witnesses all things in trim order ; 
and the mother is ready to do a little weaving, the elder 
daughter a little mending, and the child steals out for a little 
play with her pet lamb. A female neighbor has just come 
through the woods to invite her friends to a quilting, which 
is to begin at one o clock next Wednesday. The joy of such an 
event makes the bright eyes of the daughter laugh at every 
corner. The whole heavens to her are now spangled with 
rainbows. To refuse such an invitation is unheard of. The 
visitor has left ; and the girl of sixteen is plying her mother 
with questions about who will be at the quilting, not daring 
to ask about one whom she most hopes may drop in during 
the evening. So engrossed have become the minds of the 
mother and daughter, that they have half forgotten that sup 
per must be had. They now hasten to their work, and have 
all things ready in due season. As soon as the brothers en 
ter the house, the sisters announce the great quilting party ; 
and the fond father smiles at the exuberant joy of that darl 
ing creature, who is just budding into womanhood. Earlier 
than usual is all labor and worldly care to cease ; for it is Sat 
urday night. The Sabbath is at hand ; and therefore they 


would shake off the dust of earth from their sandals, and 
prepare their hearts for that day which God has prepared for 
them. Every thing is ready. The sun goes down ; and their 
Sabbath has begun. The family soon gather about their do 
mestic altar ; arid the pious father reads the Sacred Scrip 
tures, and then oilers his Saturday-evening prayer. It is not 
long before the weary inmates of that house begin to think 
of rest. The weekly ablutions, required on this evening, are 
gone through by all the younger members of the circle ; after 
which they alt retire, the father to count up the gains of the 
week, the mother to plan for the good of her children, the 
boys to travel in the land of nod, and the daughter to guess 
whom she will meet at the quilting. 

" Here let us say a word about the mother s duties, which 
were as important, and oftentimes more onerous, than the 
father s. Sick or well, the cooking and washing must be 
done ; and hired help could not be had. Moreover, the 
butter and cheese must be made, the cloth must be woven, 
the stockings must be knit, and the weekly mending must be 
done. To clothe and feed the several laborers, and then to 
receive and take care of many products of the farm, belonged 
to the mother and daughter. The toil of the females was as 
unremitted as the alternation of morning and evening ; and 
no day in the year could bring them a vacation. 

" We have seen how the farmer s family passed their Sat 
urday, let us now see what -they do on the following Sunday. 
The only manual labor allowed was that of imperious neces 
sity : any thing further was thought to violate the jealous 
sanctity of the day. The iron strictness with which Sunday 
must be kept, made every Puritan look on that occasion as if 
two fast-days had met in one. The hour of rising was re 
markably late ; and nothing like hurry was seen in the house. 
Nature found a relief in this. When the milking was over, 
and the chores done, the quiet breakfast gathers the sober 
family around the table, where the usual provisions are 
spread, and where, at the end of the meal, the mother sur 
prises her sons with a fresh-baked apple-pie, smoking from a 
t\\(o-quart earthen dish. This argument, addressed to the 


stomach, the children readily comprehend ; and each takes 
his slice in his hand, and, without winking, proceeds to busi 
ness. Breakfast being finished, the morning worship is now 
to be offered. The father takes the family Bible ; calls his 
little daughter to look over him as he reads ; and then, in 
slow and reverent tone, reads two or three chapters from the 
New Testament. Careful not to kneel and not to sit, the 
family all stand up while the father, in extemporaneous 
prayer, thanks the Giver of every good for his bounties, con 
fesses his sins with humility and penitence, asks for pardon 
through a divine Redeemer, supplicates for the new heart and 
new life of the gospel, and prays for the heavenly guidance. 
In these general expressions, he does not forget to thank God 
especially for the religious freedom enjoyed in America, and 
to implore that Popery, Episcopacy, and all other heresies, 
may be kept out of his true church here. There is now an 
hour before it will be necessary to start for meeting ; and this 
hour is occupied by the children in committing to memory a 
few verses from the Bible, or a hymn from Sternhold and 
Hopkins, or a page from the Catechism. The mother spends 
the hour in teaching her little daughter some Christian his 
tory, or telling her the story of Joseph from the Old Testa 
ment. The father hears the other children say their lessons, 
and acts as the superintendent of this first and best of Sunday 
schools. The hour has now arrived for the whole family to 
leave for the meeting-house ; and, whether it be in this planta 
tion or the next, there is no apology available for absence 
from public worship. God s command, and the penalties of the 
statute-law, decide this case without equivocation. If the 
weather be fair, the children walk, be the distance one mile 
or three. Each one is dressed in the full Sunday attire, and 
feels it of paramount importance not to tear or soil it. They 
all keep together. The father mounts his horse, and then 
takes his wife upon a pillion behind him. If it be rainy, the 
oxen are hitched to the cart, and chairs and logs make seats 
within it ; and thus the family go together. If the father 
be one of the appointed watchers/ then he must take his 
gun and ammunition, and be ready to repel any savage 


attack. Public worship began at eleven o clock ; and the 
morning service was a glass and a half long ; that is, it 
ended at half-past twelve. The half-Lour of intermission was 
spent in and around the rneeting-house ; and friends met 
there that could not get within speaking distance at any 
other time. The young folks were apt to huddle up together, 
and did not always talk about religion. The services of the 
afternoon were concluded at half-past two ; and our family 
have reached home in one hour afterwards. The pillion, for 
safe keeping, is put under the bed, the saddle hung up in the 
barn, and the horse turned out to pasture. The family are 
now ready for a meal, which unites dinner and supper ; and 
forth from the oven come that pot of beans with its coronal 
pork, and that Indian pudding, all perfectly done, having been 
in prison about twenty-four hours. Grace being said, the 
pudding is the first dish ; and it is a delicious dish too. The 
color of the pudding is a deep, rich amber ; and the juice or 
jelly is abundant. Hunger is the best sauce ; but it docs not 
need that to make this savory. Two plates-full apiece scarce 
ly satisfy the young folks. The beans come next ; and this 
strong and hearty food is eaten with a relish ; though it will 
taste better to-morrow, when no pudding precedes it. When 
the dinner seems to be over, the mother opens the table- 
drawer ; and lo ! a nice apple-pie ! Appetite comes again 
at the sight of new delicacies ; and it takes no logic to con 
vince the children that a slice of that pie will do them good. 
During the dinner, they have talked about those they saw at 
meeting, and each narrated what news he had found. The 
father had heard how much money was sunk by Mr. Cradock 
in his fishing speculation ; and the reading boy had brought 
home J. Jancway s Address to Citizens of London, after the 
Great Fire of 1C66/ just published. The first act after Sun 
day dinner, was to take off the Sunday clothes. Each one 
does this ; and then the mother assembles her children around 
her, each seated on his block ; and she hears them repeat 
the Catechism, and then endeavors to impress their minds 
with the truths which the sermons of the day have set forth. 
During this last exercise, the youngest daughter has fallen 


asleep, the youngest boy has tried to catch flies, and the rest 
of her audience have paid some heed. It is now time to close 
the religious exercises of the Sabbath, by reading the Sacred 
Scriptures and joining in family prayer. This service has the 
truth and fervor of humble worshippers. Piety and love are 
laid on the altar ; and the concluding Amen testifies to a 
Sabbath spent in the fear of God and the love of man. The 
father and sons now repair to the barn, and the milking is 
soon finished. By this time the sun has set ; and, as if con 
science had set with it, any secular pursuit now seems half 
allowable. The wood for to-morrow s washing is carried in ; 
the great kettle is filled with water : the kindlings are put in 
the corner ; and everything is ready for the earliest start. 
The mother and daughters, who have not dared to wash the 
breakfast or dinner things while the sun was up, now begin 
that operation ; and then get all the clothes together which 
must be washed, and put them in soak. The great kettle is 
now hung on ; and it almost seems as if Monday morning had 
arrived. The eldest son knows it has not, and knows there 
is a Sunday evening yet to come ; and, full of silent thoughts 
and tender emotions, he slips out, in full dress, at seven 
o clock, to drop in 7 accidentally at neighbor A. s, whose 
blooming daughter of seventeen he likes to look at. If he 
can get her to go and help him sing at Mr. B. s for an hour 
with some of the Sunday choir, why, then what ? Any visit 
ing on Sunday evening, except for courting or practising 
singing by the choir, being positively forbidden, it somehow 
always happened that the choir would meet on Sunday eve 
ning ; and there was sure to be a remarkably full attendance ! 
Thus the singing-school was the Newport and Saratoga of 
the time. Recreation of some sort every human being must 
have, if he would thrive. He claims it as Nature s law. 
Our Puritan Fathers needed recreation to lubricate the joints 
of life. While they have been singing at Mr. B. s, the log- 
hut has not been without its music. The parents have led, 
and the children followed, in some of the good old psalm- 
tunes which have come down from former generations. At 
half-past eight o clock, the candle is put out ; and the day of 


worship and rest has ended to the farmer s family, except 
to the eldest son, who, at half-past nine, opens that door 
which is never fastened, and quietly steals to bed without 
disturbing the sleepers. 

" Any cooking which required sugar was too expensive for 
our early ancestors ; and the Sunday suit of clothes went 
through a whole life. For vocal music, they had the volun 
teer solo from the cradle ; for instrumental, they had the sput 
ter of the churn, the scraping of the wool-cards, the whiz of 
the spinning-wheel, and the jerk-rattle of the weaving-loom. 
Their sofa was the settle/ and their spring-seat was the soft 
side of an oaken plank ; their carpets were clean white sand ; 
their ceilings, rough boards and rafters ; and their parlor was 
at once kitchen, bedroom, and hall. We have seen what 
their clothing was ; and it was the product of their own looms 
and knitting-needles. The men were not encumbered with 
suspenders, or dickies, or umbrellas ; nor were the women 
sighing after diamonds, opera-glasses or Cologne water. How 
expensive, vexatious and useless would have been long 
female dresses, bedraggled every moment in the grass 1 Fash 
ion, which is the labor of little minds, and not the repose of 
great ones, had not become the fickle tyrant we now see it. 
They aimed at health ; and the children who were born weak 
and feeble could not be kept alive, as they are by modern 
skill : hence the robustness of those who survived. We come, 
then, to the conclusion, that moderate labor, simple diet, 
sufficient sleep, regular habits, and mental peace, each helped 
to prolong life and secure contentment. * * * Our fathers 
had strong common sense ; and while they were devoted to 
a Puritan faith and an exclusive church, they did not lose 
their humanity ; but the very necessities of their condition 
brought them to the most practical results, and to the sound 
est philosophy of life " 



Briof Skuk .h of the Religious Societies of Dorchester, to 1857, 

REV. John Maverick and Rev. John Warhani 
were the first ministers of Dorchester. The Church 
was gathered at the new hospital in Plymouth, Eng 
land, March 20th, 1630, as the emigrants were ahout 
to embark for this country. Johnson says that they 
would not have been allowed to forma Congrega 
tional Church in England, were it not that they had 
previously engaged their passage to New England. 
He calls Mr. Maverick the " godly Mr. Maverick," 
and Mr. Warham he styles the " gracious servant 
of Christ." Mr. Warham had been a minister at 
Exeter, England, and Mr. Maverick resided about 
forty miles from there. According to Morton, Mr. 
Maverick died in Boston, February 3, 1636. He is 
supposed to have been buried in the first burying- 
ground in Dorchester, which was near the first meet 
ing-house. He was father to the somewhat noted 
Samuel Maverick, of Noddle s Island. In the latter 
part of the year 1635, a large number of the Church 
removed to Windsor, Ct, and commenced the settle 
ment of that place. It is supposed that they took 
with them the Church Records to that date, as they 
are not at present to be found. There is a tradition 
that both of the ministers were adverse to their re 
moval. Mr. Maverick was the oldest, and was born 
about the year 1575. Mr. Warham died at Wind- 


sor, April 1, 1670, leaving a character long cher 
ished for its Christian attainments. Both had been 
ordained as ministers by Bishops of the Church of 

In 1636, August 23d, Rev. Richard Mather was in 
stalled teacher of the Dorchester Church, and a new 
covenant was formed. A sketch of the life of this 
distinguished man may be seen on page 212 of this 
work. In 1637, the Church invited Rev. Nathaniel 
Rogers to settle as colleague with Mr. Mather ; but 
he declined, and was afterwards the minister of Ips 
wich. In the month of February, 1640, Rev. Jonathan 
Burr was settled as colleague with Mr. Mather. The 
latter died April 22, 1669. Mr. Burr died August 
9, 1641, aged 31 years. He had the smallpox soon 
after his arrival in this country, which left him in a 
state of debility, and probably shortened his life. 
He stood pre-eminent as a Christian among his con 
temporaries. Some further account .of him may be 
found on page 108 of this volume. 

Rev. John Wilson, Jr. (son of Rev. John, of Bos 
ton) was ordained as colleague with Mr. Mather in 
1649, and about two years after was settled in Med- 
field, Mass., where he preached about 40 years, and 
died August 23, 1691. 

The next minister settled in Dorchester, was Rev. 
Josiah Flint, son of Rev. Henry Flint, of Braintree. 
He graduated at Harvard College in 1664, and was 
ordained in Dorchester December 27, 1671. He 
died September 16, 1680, in the 35th year of his age, 
leaving a widow and several children. See a further 
account on page 240. 


Rev. John Danforth succeeded Mr. Flint. He was 
ordained June 8, 1682. He was son of Rev. Sam 
uel Danforth, of Roxbury, was born in 1652, and 
graduated at Harvard College in 1677. He died 
May 26, 1730, and is the last minister of the First 
Church who died while in that office. Shortly 
before his death, he having become aged, Rev. Jona 
than Bowman was chosen his colleague, and was or 
dained November 5, 1729. Mr. Bowman was son of 
Joseph Bowman, of Lexington, and was born Febru 
ary 23, 1703-4. He graduated at Harvard College in 
1724, and remained in the ministry in Dorchester 
until December 14, 1773, when an unpleasant con 
troversy arose, and he was dismissed, both at his own 
request and by the desire of the Church. An account 
of this controversy will be found at page 325. 

Rev. Moses Everett succeeded Mr. Bowman, and 
was ordained September 28, 1774. He was son 
of Ebenezer Everett, of Dedham, Mass., where he 
was born July 15, 1750. He remained in the min 
istry about 19 years, and resigned, in consequence of 
ill health, January 14, 1793. See further particulars 
on page 331. 

Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris was the successor of 
Mr. Everett, and was ordained October 23, 1793. 
He was son of William Harris ; was born in Charles- 
town, Mass., July 7, 1768, and graduated at Harvard 
College in 1787. He resigned his office October 23, 
1836, on the 43d anniversary of his settlement, and 
died in Boston April 3, 1842. He was buried from 
the Church where he so long and faithfully minis 
tered, a great concourse of people being present, and 


a funeral address was delivered by his successor, Rev. 
Nathaniel Hall, which is in print. 

Rev. Nathaniel Hall, Jr., son of Nathaniel Hall, 
of Medford, was ordained colleague with Rev. Dr. 
Harris, July 16, 1835, and since the resignation of 
the latter, has been the sole pastor of the Church. 


Until 1806, there was but one Church in Dor 
chester, including what is now called South Boston. 
At that time it had become impossible for as many 
as wished to attend public worship, to be accommo 
dated with seats ; and this led to the building of a sec 
ond meeting-house, which was dedicated October 30, 
1806. Rev. John Codman, of Boston, was ordained 
pastor of the new Church, December 7, 1808, and 
continued such to the close of his life, which was on 
the 23d of December, 1847. A sermon, descriptive of 
his character and virtues, was preached at his funeral, 
which was from the meeting-house where he so long 
and so successfully ministered, by Rev. Richard 
S. Storrs, D.D., of Braintree. 

Rev. James H. Means was successor of Rev. Dr. 
Codman, and was ordained as pastor of the Church 
July 13, 1848, which office he still retains. 


In consequence of the misunderstanding which 
occurred in the Second Church, an account of which 
has already been given, a portion of the members 
departed therefrom, and built another house in the 
south part of the town, which was dedicated October 


6, 1813. This building having become somewhat 
out of repair, and not of very comely appearance, the 
Parish, in 1839, considered it expedient to erect an 
other edifice, which was built in 1840, on a new 
road laid out for the accommodation of the Society 
the year previous, and known by the name of Rich 
mond Street. This house was dedicated October 28, 
1840, and stands not many rods distant from the old 
one. It is a graceful and elegant structure. The 
Building Committee were Darius Brewer, E. H. R. 
Ruggles and George Haynes ; Asher Benjamin, 
Architect ; Joseph Sanger, Master Builder. After 
the Parish left its first house of worship, it was 
converted into a hall for literary and other purposes, 
under the name of Richmond Hall. It stands on 
Washington Street, about 40 or 50 rods N.N.W. of 
Milton Bridge. 

The first minister of this Parish was Rev. Edward 
Richmond. He came to Dorchester from Stoughton, 
where he had preached nearly 25 years. He was in 
stalled in Dorchester June 25, 1817. He resigned 
on account of paralysis May 13, 1833, and died April 
10, 1842. He was born in Middleboro , Mass., June 
29, 1767, and graduated at Providence in 1789. He 
was modest in his demeanor, but dignified ; though 
not a popular preacher, he wrote in a vigorous and 
beautiful style; he was a sympathizing friend to all 
who needed his services, and was held in very high es 
teem by his parishioners and the neighboring clergy. 

The successor of Dr. Richmond was Rev. Francis 

Cunningham. He graduated at Harvard College in 

1 1825, was ordained over this Society May 21, 1834, 


and delivered his valedictory discourse September 
4, 1842. 

The present pastor of this Society is Rev. Richard 
Pike. He was ordained February 8, 1843. 



A Methodist Episcopal Church was gathered in 
Dorchester in the spring of 1817. The first church 
edifice occupied by the Society was dedicated May 6, 
1818. The building, altered for that purpose, was 
originally a carpenter s shop. It was purchased of 
Adam Davenport, of Dorchester, by Mr. Anthony 
Otheman, who furnished it and presented it to the 
Society. Mr. Otheman was a Frenchman by birth, 
a man of decision and character, one of the last of 
the cocked-hat gentry, and was the principal if not 
the sole instrument in the formation of this Society. 
The building was provided with galleries, and would 
accommodate about 300 persons. It was situated on 
the east side of Washington Street, about one fourth 
of a mile north from Milton Bridge, and very near 
the spot now occupied by the Society for its place of 
worship. The first building has been removed to 
Adams Street, converted into a dwelling-house, and 
is now occupied by Mr. Daniel Pierce. 

The second house of worship was consecrated 
September 24, 1829. It is a neat and appropriate 
building, and will accommodate about 600 persons. 

The following are the names of the different min 
isters of this Society. In 1816, Rev. Daniel Filmore 
took charge of the Society, and was assisted by Rev. 
Elijah Hedding. In 1817, Rev. William Granville 


became minister of the Society. He was followed, 
in 1819, by Kev. Bartholomew Otheman; in 1820, 
by Rev. Benjamin Hazelton and Rev. Jotham Horton ; 
in 1821, by Rev. Isaac Jennison and Rev. Frederick 
Upham; in 1822, by Rev. Aaron D. Sargent; in 
1823, by Rev. Stephen Puffer and Rev. Benjamin 
Jones; in 1824, by Rev. John Adams and Rev. La 
Roy Sunderland; in 1825, by Rev. Samuel G. Atkins; 
in 1826, by Rev. Nathan W. Scott ; in 1827, by Rev. 
Chauncy Richardson ; in 1828, by Rev. Rufus Spauld- 
ing; in 1830, by Rev. Nathan B. Spaulding; in 
1831, by Rev. John T. Burrill; in 1833, by Rev. 
Aaron D. Sargeant; in 1835, by Rev. Phineas Cran- 
dall; in 1836, by Rev. Joel Knight; in 1837, by 
Rev. Newell S. Spaulding ; in 1839, by Rev. Epa- 
phras Kibbee; in 1840, by Rev. Lyman Boyden ; in 
1842, by Rev. Thomas C. Pierce; in 1843, by Rev. 
Mark Staples; in 1845, by Rev. J. S. Gridley; in 
1846, by Rev. Thomas Tucker; in 1848, by Rev. 
J. W. Merrill; in 1850, by Rev. A. D. Sargent; in 
1852, by Rev. Jotham Horton; in 1853, by Rev. 
Stephen Gushing ; in 1855, by Rev. Gershom F. Cox ; 
in 1856, by Rev. J. T. Pettee. 


The building first occupied by the Fifth Church, 
was called Village Chapel. It was, previously to 
the formation of this Society, the vestry-room of the 
Second Parish, and was presented by said Parish to 
the Village Church. It was removed from its origi 
nal site to Neponset Street, was dedicated in 1828, 
and used as a place of worship till the buildir^of 


the present edifice, when it was converted into a 
dwelling-house. The present Village Church was 
built in 1829, at a cost of $6,077, and was dedicated 
September, 1st, of that year. It was enlarged in 1836, 
at a cost of $868. It is situated on River Street, in 
the south part of the town, about fifty rods from 
Washington Street. The Church which occupied 
these buildings was formed March 18, 1829; and 
consisted chiefly of members from the Second Church 
in Dorchester (Rev. Dr. Codman s), twenty-one of the 
twenty-seven being from that Church. 

Rev. David Sanford, a graduate of Brown Univer 
sity, was installed pastor of the Village Church July 
14, 1830. He was dismissed, at his own request, on 
account of enfeebled health, and his dismission was 
ratified by an Ecclesiastical Council Sept. 17th, 1838. 
Since then he has preached at Medway, Mass. A 
minister of the same name was settled in Medway, 
from 1773 to 1807. 

Rev. Daniel Butler succeeded Mr. Sanford in Dor 
chester. He was ordained October 31, 1838, and 
continued pastor of the Church until January 31, 
1845. Since then, he has been an agent of the Mas 
sachusetts Bible Society. 

Rev. Daniel Dyer succeeded, and was ordained 
April 9, 1845, and continued until June 1, 1852. 

Rev. Daniel T. Noyes was his successor. He was 
ordained February 16, 1853, and continued to Feb. 
14, 1855. 

The present pastor is Rev. Theodore T. Munger, 
who was ordained February 6, 1856. 



The first Baptist Society in Dorchester was con 
stituted at Neponset Hall (Neponset Village), June 
7, 1837. Previous to 1835, there were only occa 
sional religious meetings in Neponset Village. A 
large portion of those who formed the new Baptist 
Church formerly worshipped with the Second Parish, 
Rev. Dr. Codman s. Mr. Joshua Gushing, formerly 
of Scituate, and Deacon Jacob Flinn, who about this 
time removed to Neponset from South Boston, were 
the originators and upholders of the Church in its 

Rev. Bradley Miner was its first minister, and 
preached from June 7, 1837, to the Spring of 1846, 
when he left, much to the regret of the Parish. He 
went to Pittsfield from Dorchester, and from thence 
to Providence, where he died in the fall of 1854. 
He was among the most earnest and zealous preach 
ers in the denomination. 

Rev. Humphrey Richards succeeded Mr. Miner, 
and was installed in July, 1846. He preached up 
wards of eight years, and died September 4, 1854. 
He bore the character of an humble and devoted 

Rev. B. W. Barrows was ordained pastor of this 
Society May 30, 1855, and is the present minister. 

The first meeting-house of this Society was built 
in 1838, and dedicated August 15th, of that year. 
Since then, it has been enlarged. It is situated on 
Chickatabot Street, Neponset Village. 



Several years previous to the organization of this 
Society, a number of persons in the north part of the 
town commenced a weekly meeting for prayer and 
religious exhortation. The meetings were held at 
different places for some time, but usually at the 
house of Mr. Caleb Coburn, until they were estab 
lished in an unfinished building called Union Hall, 
near the Burying Ground. 

Mr. Coburn was the most prominent in sustaining 
the meetings, but Mr. Theophilus C. Clapp and oth 
ers took an active part with him. 

About the year 1843, preaching on the Sabbath 
was usually obtained, and a Sabbath School was 
established. The next year, Rev. Davis T. Shailer 
was requested to supply preaching permanently, and 
continued to do so till the Church was formed, when 
he was chosen pastor. The Church was constituted 
September 15, 1845, and publicly recognized in Union 
Hall, September 28th, by public services. The So 
ciety was formed September 21, 1846. 

The Meeting-house was commenced in 1845, Mr. 
Earle E. Rider, contractor ; but being much delayed, 
it was only partially raised before Thanksgiving day, 
when a very heavy storm of wind and rain prostrated 
it, very much damaging the timber and foundation. 
Mr. Rider then being unwilling to fulfil his contract, 
the Society employed other persons, who went on 
with the work and finished the vestry in the spring, 
and the first meeting was held in it May 31, 1846 ; 
the house was soon finished, and dedicated March 31, 


1847. Rev. Davis T. Shailer preached the sermon. 
Mr. Shailer resigned the pastoral office January 1, 
1847, and from that time different persons were ob 
tained to supply the pulpit till February 23, 1848, 
when a call was extended to Rev. Freeman G. Brown 
to become the pastor ; and although he did not for 
mally accept the call, he continued to act as pastor 
till April 1, 1850. From that time, to January 29, 
1851, the Society depended on transient supplies, 
when Rev. James W. Lathrop w r as ordained, and 
continued to fill the pastoral office till April 1, 1856. 

The Church was again without a pastor till July 
8, 1857, when Rev. Henry F. Lane was installed ? 
and is the present pastor. 

In August, of this year, 1857, Mr. David Parker 
presented the Society with an excellent bell, weigh 
ing over 1000 Ibs. 

The Society is still small, but gradually increas 
ing, and appears to be in a better condition than at 
any other time during its history. 


By invitation of several earnest and active Epis 
copalians, the Rev. John P. Robinson, then Rector 
of Christ Church, in Quincy, appointed a public 
service at the Town Hall in Dorchester, according to 
the Liturgy of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 
Evening Prayer was conducted by him on Sunday, 
July 16, 1843, and followed by an impressive sermon 
upon St. John s Gospel iii. 16. The congregation 
numbered about 50 persons ; and such was the inter 
est manifested in the introduction of these services, 


that the reverend presbyter immediately made a gen 
eral appointment for Evening Prayer at the same 
place, to be held once in two weeks. It may be 
mentioned, in passing, that the above was the first 
occasion on which the Book of Common Prayer had 
been publicly used in Dorchester. 

The services thus begun were continued, with little 
interruption from inclement weather, until January 
28th, and thenceforward, at longer intervals, until 
Easter Sunday, April 7, 1844. On one occasion, the 
place of the Rev. Mr. Robinson was supplied by the 
Rev. D. Richmond Brewer, Rector of St. Peter s, 
Cambridgeport. Although the desire was often ex 
pressed by residents of Dorchester, that a Parish might 
be organized, it was, during this period, deemed in 
expedient to adopt any decisive measures to that end. 
From the first service, gentlemen of property residing 
in Dorchester expressed their interest in the estab 
lishment of worship here, according to the Liturgy 
of the Episcopal Church, by the proposal of donations 
of eligible lots of land as sites for the anticipated 
Church edifice ; yet prudence seemed to dictate a 
delay in the erection of the Church. 

Nothing important was done in the way of organ 
izing a Parish until July 29, 1847, when a public 
meeting was held to consider the subject of organiza 
tion. This meeting was continued by adjournment 
to August llth, when a petition for a warrant, calling 
a legal meeting for organization, was drawn up, 
signed by the Rev. William Withington, and Messrs. 
Joseph Hooper, Robert Richardson, Thomas Hill, 
Edward Holden and Aaron U. Hayter, The petition 


was addressed to the Hon. S. P. Loud, who immedi 
ately issued a warrant directing a meeting to be no 
tified at Lyceum Hall, August 23, 1847, when the 
Parish was organized by the election of Edward 
Holden, Clerk ; Joseph Hooper, Wm. Withington, 
Wardens; Charles Stimpson, F. A. Fuller, Thomas 
Hill, Henry U. Peters, Robert Richardson, Vestry 
men ; Edward Holden, Treasurer. The Rev. Geo. 
W. Porter, then residing in Roxbury, was chosen 
Rector of the Parish. 

Morning Prayer was held for the first time, at 
Lyceum Hall, on Sunday, September 26, 1847, the 
Rector officiating. He appeared in full canonicals, 
and this was, without doubt, the first public use of the 
surplice in the town of Dorchester. The first bap 
tism in this parish was that of an infant, October 10, 
1847. The Sunday School was organized November 
22d. The first Communion was celebrated on the 
first Sunday in December, 1847. The Parish was 
admitted into union with the Diocesan Convention 
of Massachusetts, June 14, 1848. 

Mrs. Catherine Dodge, with Christian liberality 
and zeal, gave to the Parish half an acre of land as 
a site for a Church, which was accepted with feelings 
of profound gratitude, November 2, 1848. Imme 
diately thereupon, subscription books were opened, 
and soon the amount of estimated cost was obtained ; 
a building committee was appointed ; a plan, drawn 
by Arthur Oilman, Esq., of Boston, was adopted, 
and the contract given to Mr. John Parker, as Mas 
ter Builder. The corner stone was laid by the Rt. 
Rev. Manton Eastburn, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese, 


April 5, 1849. The edifice was completed at a cost 
of $4,932 67. It was consecrated September 20, 
1849, the Bishop consecrating, attended by 21 cler 
gymen. Rev. G. W. Porter was instituted Rector, 
April 7, 1850. He resigned the charge of the Parish 
November 1, and preached his last sermon as Rector 
November 7, 1852. The Rev. Edward Livingston 
Drown, of the Diocese of Rhode Island, was called 
to the Rectorship May 25th, and preached his first 
sermon on June 26, 1853, from Job xxxvi. 2, 3. 

On June 16, 1856, the Vestry, in view of the 
pressing want of room in the Church edifice, recom 
mended an enlargement. The recommendation was 
adopted by the Parish, and the enlargement was ef 
fected in a manner highly creditable to the judgment 
of the Architect and the Committee of the Parish, and 
reflecting much credit upon the skill of the contractor. 
The cost of this improvement was $2,876 65. 

It is pertinent to mention, in connection with this 
history, that Dorchester gave to Massachusetts her 
first Bishop, and has also given to the Protestant 
Episcopal Church three Presbyters : viz., The Rt. 
Rev. Edward Bass, S.T.D., consecrated May 7, 1797 ; 
and the Rev. James Blake Howe, the Rev. William 
Withington, and the Rev. Darius Richmond Brewer, 
Presbyters ordained at more recent dates, who are 
entitled to honorable positions on the roll of the 
worthy sons of Dorchester. 


The meeting-house now belonging to this Parish 
was erected through the instrumentality of Rev. 


Stephen Bailey, being designed by him as a place of 
worship for a Trinitarian Congregational Society. 
The land for its erection was purchased in the autumn 
of 1845, and the building completed at an expense 
of $7,366 37. It was dedicated in the summer of 
1846, and used for orthodox preaching about two 
years. In October, 1848, it was purchased by a 
number of gentlemen for a Unitarian Church, for 
$5,500 being a loss to Rev. Mr. Bailey of $680 76, 
besides his services for the tw T o years. At a meeting 
of the stockholders on the 28th of the same month, it 
was voted to raise a committee to wait on Rev. Messrs. 
Hall and Pike, pastors of the first and second Uni 
tarian Societies in the town, " and state to them that 
it is from no unfriendly feeling to them or their So 
cieties that we organize this new religious society ; 
but for our mutual advantage and greater convenience 
to a place of worship." 

The Church was first opened for Unitarian worship 
in November, 1848, Rev. Charles Brooks officiating. 
Rev. Francis C. Williams preached about one year 
viz., from January, 1849, to January, 1850. Rev. 
Samuel Johnson succeeded Mr. Williams, and preach 
ed until the spring of 1851. Rev. Stephen G. Bui- 
finch has been the pastor since August 1, 1852. 
The Society was incorporated by the Legislature, 
May 13, 1852, under the name of the "Third Uni 
tarian Society in Dorchester." 


The Second Methodist Episcopal Church in Dor 
chester was organized in the village of Neponset in 


the year 1850, by Kev. T. W. Tucker. Previous to 
the organization of the Church, Mr. Tucker preached 
first in his own house, and subsequently in Union 
Hall. The meeting-house was built in 1851, at 
a cost including organ, clock and bell of nearly 
$7,000, all of which was promptly paid, so that not 
one dollar s debt was left upon the Society when the 
Church was dedicated. It is but just to the commu 
nity of the place generally, to say that they co-ope 
rated nobly in the enterprise. Rev. Mr. Eaymond, of 
Wilbraham, preached the dedication sermon on 
Christmas day, 1851. The Society have also pur 
chased a commodious Parsonage, for $2,800. 

The following clergymen have been pastors of the 
Church: Rev. T. W. Tucker, Rev- B. K. Peirce, 
Rev. Willard Smith, Rev. E. A. Manning, Rev. J. L. 
Hanaford, and the present pastor Rev. Pliny Wood. 


The Public Schools of the Town. 

ONE of the most interesting and important chap 
ters in the history of Dorchester, is that which relates 
to the free school of the town, some details of which 
will now be given. 

On the 4th of March, 1634-5,* the General Court 
granted Thompson s Island to the inhabitants of the 
town of Dorchester, " to enjoy, to them, their heires 

* Incorrectly printed 1637, on pages 160, 163. 


& successors w ch shall inhabite there foreuer," on the 
simple condition, that they pay 12 d yearly, as rent, " to 
the Tresurer for the time being." Four years after 
this, namely, on the 30th of May, 1639, the town 
voted to lay a tax on the proprietors* of said island, 
for " the maintenance of a school in Dorchester." 

So far as the writer is informed, it was the first 
public provision made for a free school, in the world, 
by a direct tax or assessment on the inhabitants 
of a town. 

An exact copy of the order, relating to it, from 
the Town Records, page 83, is subjoined. 

" It is ordered the 20 th of May 1639, that there shall be 
a rent of 20 lb a year for eue r imposed vpon Tomsons 
Hand to bee payd p r eu r y p r son that hath proprietie in the 
sayd Hand according to the p r portion that any such p r son 
shall from tyine to tyme injoy and possesse the re , and this 
towards the maintenance of a schoole in Dorchester. 
This rent of 20 lb yearely to bee payd to such a schoole- 
maste r as shall vndertake to teach english, latine, and 
othe r tongues, and also writing. The said schoole-maste r 
to bee Chosen from tyme to tyme p r the freemen, and yt 
is left to y e discretion of the lde rs & the 7 men for the 
tyme beeing whethe r maydes shalbe taught w th the boyes 
or not. For the levying this 20 lb yearely from the p r ticu- 
lar p r sons that ought to pay it according to this orde r , 
It is farther ordered that somme man shalbe appoynted 
p r the 7 men fo r the tyme beeing to Receiue y s . and on 
refusall to levye y* p r distresse, and not fynding distresse, 
such p r son as so refuseth payment shall forfeit the land he 
hath in p r oprietie in the sayd Hand." 

*It is supposed that under the term " proprietors," in this connection, 
was included the principal part of the adult male inhabitants of the town. 


Having made the above arrangement, the next 
step was to secure a teacher. Rev. Thomas Water- 
house seems to have been the first one mentioned. 
He is introduced to us in this manner. 

" It is ordered that M r Wate r house shall be dispenced 
w th concerneing that Clause of the orde r in y e Charge of 
Twenty pounds yeerly rent to be payd fo Tomson s 
Hand towards the skoole, where he is bound to teach to 
write, it slialbe left to his liberty in that poynt of teach 
ing to write , only to doe what he can conveniently 

The above vote was passed on the 31st October, 
1639 ; at the same time it was 

" Ordered that Henery Way, Brey Wilkeins, Richard 
Leeds shall take their portion in Tonison s Hand, and 
haue also liberty to buy of any othe ra any greate r portion 
to y e value of 9 ake rs to Joyne w th their owne at a con 
venient place fo r fishing ; Provided that they set forward 
fishing, and alsoe doe satisfie the yeerly rent-Charge 
imposed on that Hand towards the mayntanance of a 
skoole according to the order made to that purpose, 
and according to y e Numbe r of the ake rs they shall make 
imployinent of." 

Provision was also made in regard to their fenc 
ing properly , the lands so taken into propriety." 

It was soon found that the rents due from indi 
vidual proprietors of the island were collected with 
much inconvenience. For this and other reasons 
mentioned in the following document, it was thought 
proper to make a direct conveyance of the land to 
the town for the special support and establishment 
of the free school, that it might be more effectually 


and better maintained. The instrument is here 
given entire. 

" Wheras the Inhabitants of Dorchester haue formerly 
ordered^ Consented and agreed that a Rente of Twentie 
pound p" ann. shall issue & be payd by the sayd Inhabi 
tants & their heires from & out of a Certaine porcon of 
land in Dorchester called Tomsons Hand for & towards 
the maintenance of a schoole in Dorchester afor sayd, And 
that vppon experience it is found to be a matter of great 
labour & difficultie to collect the sayd rent from soe many 
severall p r sons as ought to pay the same according to 
their seuerall p r portions the p r sons that haue title to land 
in the sayd Hand & who therfore ought to pay the sayd 
rent, being noe lesse in number then sixscore or thera- 
boute, And inasmuch as the sayd rent of Twentie pound, 
when it is duly Collected & payd, is not of it self suffi 
cient maintenance for a schoole without some addicon 
thervnto. For the augmentinge therfor of the sayd rent 
& to the intent that the same may hencforth be more 
readily collected and payd, It is heerby ordered and all 
the p r sent Inhabitants of Dorchester aforsayd Whose 
names are heervnto subscribed doe for themselues & their 
heires heerby Covenant, consent and agree thatt from 
hencforth the sayd Hand and all the benefitt & p r fitts ther- 
of and all there right & Interest in the same shalbe wholy 
& for euer bequeathed and given away from themselues & 
their heires vnto the Town of Dorchester aforesayd for 
& Towards the maintenance of a free schoole in Dorches 
ter aforesayd for the instructinge & Teachinge of Child 
ren & youth in good literature & Learninge. And to the 
intent that the better maintenance for a free schoole as 
is heerby intended may arise from and out of the sayd 
Hand, It is therfore the mynd of the p r sent donoures that 
the sayd Hand shall from tyme to tyme be lett, assigned & 
set ouer by the Inhabitants of Dorchester for the time 


beinge or theire agents for such yearlie rent or rents as 
shall in Comon Estimation amount to the full value of the 
sayd Hand. 

" And to the intent that the godly intentions of the 
p sent donoures may not be frustrated or disapoynted nor 
the free schoole heerby intended suffer any p r iudice or 
damage by insufficient tenante or Tenants to the sayd 
Hand or through none payment of the rent that ought to 
be payd for the same, It is heerby ordered & the p r sent 
donoures doe heerby declare that it is there mynd that the 
sayd Hand shalbe lett, assigned & sett Ouer only to such 
Tenant or Tenants as shall by land or otherwise suffi- 
tiently secure the payment of the rent therof for the vse 
& behoofe of the schoole as aforsayd in such manner & 
forme & at such time & tymes of payment as shalbe 
agreed vppon by & betweene the inhabitants of Dorches 
ter or there agents, one the one p r tye & the sayd Tenant 
or Tenaunts one the other p tye. 

" And for avoydinge the Trouble that myght arise in 
collectinge and gatherings the same Rent by so great a 
Multitude of Tenants that ought to pay the same, & to 
the intent that the rents which shalbe-come due for the 
sayde Hand may be the better & more redylie Collected 
and payd ? it is heerby ordered and declared that the sayd 
Hand shall neuer be lett out to soe many tenannts as shal 
be aboue tenn in number at once. 

" In witness wherof the p r sent Inhabitants haue heer- 
vnto subscribed ther names the Seaventh day of the 
Twelfth moneth in the yeare 1641. 

" Memorand. that before the subscribinge of these 
p r sents the donoures aforsayd did further agree & declare 
that it was and is there mynd and true intencons that if 
at any tyme ther shall happen & fall out a vacancie & 
want of a schoolmaster by meanes of death or otherwise, 
yet the rents and p r fitts ishuinge & arisinge of the sayd 



Hand shalbe converted and applied only to & for the 
maintenance & vse of the schoole either by augmentinge 
the stipend for a schoolemaster or otherwise, but not for 
any other vse. 

Israel Stoughton 

Richard Mather 

George Minot 
"" Henry Withington 

John Glouer 

Natha: Duncan 

Thomas Hawkins 

Tho. Clarke 

John Holman 

Nathaniell Patten 

Humfrey Atherton 

Roger Clap 

Joseph Farnworth 

Hopestill Foster 

William Clarke 

Michael Wiles 

John Pears 

Nicholas Clapp 

John [ R ] Pope 

John Farnham 

Barnabas Fawer 

Thomas [ H ] Andrews 

Mr. Warham 

Andrew Pitcher 

William [ X ] Lane 
his mark. 

Thomas Jones 

Jonas Humfrey 

Edmund Muninge 
his [ y\/\ ] mark. 

James Bate 
^George Dyer 

Robt. Howard 

John Grenaway 

Thomas Makepeace 

Henry Wright 

Christopher Gibson 

John Phillips 

John Wiswall 

John Capen 

Joane Capen Weddow 

William Blake 

Nicho: Butler 

Nicholas Vpsall 

Thomas Swift 

Thomas Wiswall 

Thomas Dickerman 

Richard Baker 

John Maudesley 

George Proctor 

Richard Hawes 

Augustine Clement 

Henrie Waye 

John Smith 

David Selleck 

Bray Wilkins 

Geo. Weekes 

Jeffrey Turner 

John Pearce 

Edward Breck 

Richard Collacot 

Jeremy Howchin 

Thomas Tilstone 

John Holland 

Thomas Millit 

Alice, the wife of Rich 
ard Joanes 

Nathanael Wales 

John Rigbye 

Robert Deeble 

Edward Clap 

William Sumner 
The sign of 

John [ <j ] Hill 

Clement Toplif* 

* A lithographed fac-simile of these names was given as a frontis 
piece to " Blake s Annals of Dorchester," published in Boston in 1846. 


The town entrusted the matter of Thompson s 
Island to the Elders, Mr. Stoughton and Mr. Glover, 
that they might set the land at a rent, " fo r the best 
Benefitt of y e Schoole." Doubtless this was ddne 
to the acceptance of the town, though the records 
are silent in regard to it. Nor do we learn anything 
farther in relation to the school until the appoint 
ment was made, by the townsmen, of wardens to 
manage its affairs which event took place on the 
14th of March, 1645. 

The following rules and orders concerning the 
school, then presented to the town, were confirmed 
by the major part of the inhabitants present at the 

" First. It is ordered that three able and sufficient 
men of the Plantation slialbe Chosen to bee wardens or 
ou r sce rs of the Schoole," " who shall haue the Charge, oue r - 
sight and ordering thereof, and of all things Concerning 
the same in such manne r as is hereafter expressed, and 
shall Continue in thei r office and place for Terme of thei r 
Hues respectiuely, vnlesse by reason of any of them Re- 
mouing his habitation out of the Towne, or fo r any othe r 
Weightie reason, the Inhabitants shall see cause to Elect 
and Chuse othc in thei r Roome, in w dl cases and vpon 
the death of any of the same wardens, the Inhabitants 
shall make a new Election and choice of othe rs . And Mr. 
Haward, Deacon Wiswall, Mr. Atherton are elected to 
bee the first Wardens o r ouersee fs . 

" Secondly. The said Wardens shall haue full powe r 
to dispose of the School stock, whethe* the same bee in 
land or otherwise, both such as is already in beeing and 
such as may by any good meanes hereafte r be added; and 
shall Collect and Receiue the Rents, Issues and p r fits 


arising & growing of & from the sayd stock. And the 
sayd rents, Issues and p r fits shall imploy and lay out only 
fo r the best behoof and advantadge of the sayd Schoole, 
and the furtherance of learning thereby, and shall give a 
faythful and true accompt of thei r receipts & disburse 
ments so often as they shalbe thearvnto be required by 
the Inhabitants or the maior p r te of them. 

" Thirdly. The said Wardens shall take care and doe 
thei r vtmost and best endeavo r that the sayd Schoole may 
fro tyme to tyme be supplied w th an able and sufficient 
Schoole maste r who neu r thelesse is not to be admitted 
into the place of Schoole m r w th out the Generall consent 
of the Inhabitants or the maior p te of them. 

" Fowerthly. So often as the sayd Schoole shalbe sup 
plied w th a Schoole m r so p r vided and admitted as afore- 
sayd, the wardens shall fro tyme to tyme pay or cause to 
be payd vnto the sayd Schoole m r such wages out of the 
Rents, Issues & p r fitts of the Schoole stocke as shall of 
right Come due to be payd. 

" Fiuethly. The sayd wardens shall from tyme to tyme 
see that the Schoole howse bee kept in good and sufficient 
repayre, the charges of which reparacon shall be defrayed 
and payd out of such rents, Issues and p r fits of y 1 Schoole 
stocke yf ther e be sufficient, or else of such rents as shall 
arise and grow in the tyme of the vacancy of the Schoole 
m r yf ther e be any such and in defect of such vacancy 
the wardens shall repayre to the 7 men of the Towne fo r 
the tyme being, who shall have powe r to Taxe the Towne 
w th such some or sommes as shalbe requested fo r for the 
repayring of the Schoole howse as aforesayd. 

"Sixthly. The sayd Wardens shall take Care that 
eu r y yeere at or before the end of the 9th moneth ther e 
bee brought to the Schoole howse 12 sufficient Cart or 
wayne loads of wood fo r fewell, to be fo r the vse of the 
Schooleinaste r and the Scholle rs in winte r , the Cost and 


charge of w ch sayd wood to bee borne by the scholle rs fo r 
the tyme bceing who shalbe taxed fo r the purpose at the 
discretion of the sayd Wardens. 

" Lastly. The sayd Wardens shall take care that the 
Schoolm r fo r the tyme beeing doe faythfully p r forme his 
dutyc in his place, as schoolcm r ought to doe, as well in 
othe r things as in these wh ch are liereafte r expressed, viz. 

" First. That the School em r shall diligently attend his 
Schoole, and doe his vtmost indeavo 1 " fo r Bcnefitting his 
Scholle r s according to his best discretion, w th out vnneces- 
saryly absenting himself to the p r iudice of his scholle 1 " 8 
and hindering thcr e learning. 

" 2ly. That from the beginning of the first moneth 
vntill the end of the 7 th , lice shall eu r y day beginn to 
teach at seaven of the Clock in the morning and dismisse 
his scholle rs at fyue in the afternoon". And fo r the othe r 
fyue months, that is, from the beginn* of the 8 th moneth 
vntill the end of the 12 th month he shall eu r y day beginn 
at 8 of the Clock in the morning, & [end] at 4 in the 

" Sly. Eu r y day in the yeere the vsuall tyme of dis 
missing at noone shalbe at 11, and to beginn agayne at 
one, except that 

" 41y. Eu r y second day in the we eke he shall call his 
scholle r s togeithe r betweene 12 & one of the Clock to ex- 
amin them what they haue learned on the saboath day 
p r cding, at w c h tyme also he shall take notice of any mis- 
demeano r or outrage that any of his Scholle rs shall haue 
Committed on the saboath, to the end that at somme con 
venient tyme due Admonition and Correction may bee 
administe red by him according as the nature and qualitie 
of the offence shall require, at w ch sayd examination any 
of the Elde rs or othe r Inhabitants that please may bee pre 
sent, to behold his religious care herein, and to giue ther e 
Countenance and app r bation of the same. 


" 5 th ly. Hee shall equally and impartially receiue and 
instruct such as shalbe sent and Committed to him fo r that 
end, whithe r there parents bee poore or rich, not refusing 
any who have Right & Interest in the Schoole. 

" 61y. Such as shall be Committed to him he shall dili 
gently instruct, as they shalbe able to learne, both in 
humane learning and good litterature, & likewyse in poynt 
of good manne 1 " 8 and dutifull bhauiou r towards all, speci 
ally there supio rs as they shall haue occasion to bee in 
ther e p r sence, whithe r by meeting them in the streete or 

" 71y. Euery 6 day of the weeke at 2 of the Clock in 
the afternoone, hee shall Catechise his Scholle rs in the 
principles of Christian religion, eithe r in some Cate- 
chisme w ch the Wardens shall p r vide and p r sent, or in de 
fect thereof in some othe r . 

" 8 th ly. And because all man s indeavo r s w th out the 
blessing of God must needs bee fruitlesse and vnsuccess- 
full, theirfore It is to be a chief p r te of the Schoolem 
religious care to commend his scholle r s and his Labou r s 
amongst them vnto God by praye r morning and evening, 
taking Care that his scholler r s doe reu r endly attend dur 
ing the same. 

" 91y. And because the Rodd of Correction is an or 
dinance of God necessary sometymes to bee dispensed 
vnto Children, but such as may easily be abused by oue r - 
much seu r itie and rigou r on the one hand, or by oue r much 
indulgence and lenitye on the othe r , It is therefore 
ordered and agreed that the schoolemaste r for the tyme 
beeing shall haue full powe r to ministe r Correction to all 
or any of his scholle w th out respect of p r sons,. according 
to the nature and qualitie of the offence shall require ; 
whereto all his scholle rs must bee duely subiect; and no 
parent or othe r of the Inhabitants shall hinde r or go about 
to hinde r the maste r ther e in : neu r theless yf any parent or 


othc r shall thinkc there is iust cause of Complaynt agaynst 
the maste r fo r to mucli seue r itye such shall hauc liberty 
freindly and louingly to expostulate w th the maste r about 
the same ; and yf they shall not attaync to satisfaction, 
the matte r is then to bee referred to the wardens, who 
shall imp r tially Judge betwixt the maste r and such Com- 
playnants. And yf yt shall appeere to them that any pa 
rent shall make causelesse Complaynt against the m r in 
this behalfe, and shall p r sist in and Continue so doeing, in 
such case the wardens shall have powe r to discharge the 
m r of the care and charge of the Children of such parents. 
But yf the thing Complayned of be true, and that the rn r 
haue indeed bene guiltie of ministering excessiue Correc 
tion, and shall appeere to them to continue therein, not- 
w th standing that they haue advised him otherwise, in such 
case, as also in the case of to much lenitye or any othe r 
great neglect of dutye in his place p r sisted in, It shalbe 
in the powe r of the Wardens to call the Inhabitants to- 
geithe r to Conside 1 whithe r it were not meet to discharge 
the m r of his place, that so somme othe r more desirable 
may be p r ovided. And because It is difficult, yf not Im 
possible, to give p r ticula r rules y l shall reach all cases 
w ch may fall out, therefore, fo r a Conclusion, It is ordered 
and agreed in gcnerall, that, where p r ticula r rules are 
wanting, ther e it shalbe a p r te of the office and dutye of 
the Wardens to orde r and dispose of all things that Con- 
cerne the schoole, in such sort as in ther e wisedome and 
discretion they shall Judge most Conducible fo r the glory 
of God & the trayning vp of the Children of the Towne 
in religion, learning, and Civilitie : And these orde re to 
bee Continued till the maio r p r te of the Towne shall see 
cause to alte r any p r te thereof." 

Deacon John Wiswall, Humphrey Athertori, and 
Robert Howard, as will be seen, were chosen the 
first wardens of the school. 



The house was probably located near the corner 
of Pleasant and Cottage streets. It was, doubtless, 
a frail structure, and continued for some years in an 
unfinished state. 

In the year 1657, " Thomas Wiswall desired, in 
behalf of the scoole, that a flower [floor] be laid 
over head in y e scoole house, and a studdy made in 
it for the vse of the scoolemaster," his son Ichabod. 
Mr. W. was promised by the town five shillings in 
money, towards the undertaking, and " timber in 
his lott for Juice." Quite a different method from 
that pursued by our modern building committees. 
The contrast, also, between that rude school-house 
and our sumptuous edifices, is as great, almost, it 
would seem, as between the savage and the civilized 
states of life. 

History does not inform us whether Mr. Wiswall 
had his wishes gratified in relation to the " studdy." 

It was customary, in those times, for the teacher 
to receive a part of his pay in the produce of the 
earth. Mr. W., therefore, at the same time, " desired 
14 bushels of Indian corne in part of pay for his 
son s teaching scoole, w ch Mr. Jones ordered him to 
take at Dedham, Mr. Jones to have 4 bushels of Mr. 
Patten, 2 of ensigne Foster, again, and peas of bro 
ther Brecke for the rest, and allowed them in their 
rates againe." 

The amount of salary given the teacher at this 
time is not specified, nor the proportionate quantity 
of cash; not unlikely it was about one half in pro 
duce. The whole salary may have been some 20 
or 25 per annum. In 1692, Mr. Mills was paid by 


the constable, " towards his salary for keeping 
school, in silver 5, in grain 10." 

Gov. Sto lighten-, who died in 1701, left, in his 
will, a legacy of 150 to the schools of Dorchester, 
on condition that, within the space of ten years fol 
lowing the date of said will, the salary of the school 
master should be fixed at Q a year ; otherwise, 
the whole income, till such a provision and settle 
ment were made, would be forfeited to the town. 
Accordingly, in 1711, the town voted to carry out 
this provision, and in the following spring " it was 
voted, agreed, concluded, and absolutely confirmed, 
that forty pounds a year of the towns proper gift, 
should be a settled, standing salary for the school 
master, according to Mr. Stoughton s will." 

But to return to the grant. The town of Dor 
chester did not long remain in quiet possession of 
Thompson s Island, for, in 1648, John Thompson, 
son and heir of David, coming of age, laid claim 
to the island as his property. Samuel Maverick, of 
Noddle s Island (afterwards noted as one of the 
king s commissioners), testified to the Court in his 
behalf; stating that, in the year 1626, the applicant s 
father took possession of that island " as a vacuum 
domicilium." Trevour, Blackstone, Standish, and 
the Sagamore of Agawam, gave in their evidence, 
also, to show that David Thompson had a grant and 
patent of the island, and that he actually took pos 
session of the land. The General Court, therefore, 
nullifying their grant to Dorchester, conceded it to 
the legal owner. A petition was then sent to the 
Court, by the inhabitants of the town, briefly review- 


ing the matter, and closing with a request that the 
Court would grant some other island as a help to 
them " towards the maintenance of a free schoole," 
in the room of that which was taken away. (See a 
copy of the petition on page 163 of this work.) 

There was still another applicant for the island, 
namely, Winnuequassum, who sent in his petition 
to the Court, " craving Thompson s Island to be re 
stored to him as his inheritance." It is unknown to 
what tribe of the aboriginals he belonged, as also 
the particular merits of his claim. The reply was 
(1 Nov. 1654), " Altho the Court cannot see cause 
at p r esent to heare the case, nor w th out hearing to 
restore the peticoner the land, yett judge meete to 
give him libertie of tryall, in any Court fit for cog 
nizance of it, notw th standing any former acts of this 
Court therein." 

We learn nothing more respecting Winnuequas 
sum or his suit. 

The following is from the Court Records (Vol. 
IV. part 1, p. 29), date, 18th Oct. 1650. 

" In the triall of the case between Mr. Thomas Jones 
and Mr. John Wisewall, on the behalfe of the school of 
Dorchester, and Mr. John Thompson, respecting the title 
of the island called Thompsons Island, the Courte, on the 
hearinge of the case, and examining the evidences brought 
by both parties, judged the right to belong to John Thomp 
son, and gave him his bill of costs, which was three 
pounds, seven shillings and sixe pence, against the towne 
of Dorchester." 

Notwithstanding what had been said and done in 
relation to Thompson s Isle, the people of Dorchester 


were dissatisfied with the result. At a meeting of 
the inhabitants of the town, held on the 8th of 
March, 1659, it was voted, that they "would have 
a triall at the Charge of the towne for to gett Tom- 
son s yland for the town of Dorchester, as they sup 
posed y* it is theirs by right. And it was alsoe vot 
ed, the same day, that the selectmen are desired and 
impowered to execute the triall in the best way and 
maner, as they shall thinke best and most conveni 
ent for the obtaining of it." Lieut. Roger Clap and 
Ensign Hopes till Foster were appointed to manage 
the business. They accordingly presented to the 
Court the following petition. 
" To the Hon rd Generall Court Now assembled at Boston, 

the petition of the inhabitants of Dorchester 
Humbly sheweth, 

" That wheras there was many years since granted by 
this court, as appears by record, a sertaine Hand called 
Thomsons Hand w ch we the said Inhabitants possest 
diuers years and hopefull to haue eucr cnjoyd the same 
for the benefit of o r selues and posterity (the same being 
giuen to and for the maintenance of a free scoole In Dor 
chester) but the s d Hand hath bin taken from vs and set- 
led on others to the almost if not totall ouerthrow of o r 
free scoole w ch was soe hopefull for posterity, both our 
owne and neihbors also who had or might haue reaped 
benifit thereby. 

" Our Humble Request to this hon rd Court is, that you 
would be pleased to reneiue yo r former grant of the said 
Hand, and confirme the same vnto vs, we conceiuing we 
had Just title ther vnto, or Elc, that you would bee pleas 
ed to grant vnto vs one thousand ackors of land In some 
conuenient place or places (for the end afo r sd, nainly, 
the maintenance of o r dijng scoole) where we shall find it, 


and in the courts power to grant the same, and yo r petr 
tion rs shall pray, &c. 

Dor: 18: 8. [October,] ROGER CLAP, ) T , . 


name and by order from 
y e towne. 

Action was taken on the above petition by the 
Court, as follows: 

"The deputies thinke meete to graunt this petition, 
vizt. a thousand acres of land for the end mentioned in 
this petition, where they can find it according to law 
with reference to the consent of o r Hon rd magistrates 
hereto. WM. TORRY, Clerk. 

Consented to by the raagists. EDWD. RAWSOX, Secty." 

On the 14th of November, the selectmen of Dor 
chester " impowered William Clarke and Henry 
Woodward to serch and stake out a Farme of a 
1000 acres of land granted vnto the town of Dor 
chester for the vse of a scoole by the generall Court 
held at Boston the 18th of October, 1659." 

The business of laying out the land, however, 
seems to have been delayed. Nearly a quarter of a 
century after the first vote was passed concerning it, 
viz. in 1683, "the Worshipful Mr. Stoughton, 
Enoch Wiswall and John Breck," were chosen to 
" look after and take care for the laying it out." 

On the 29th of October, 1716, Samuel Paul, Capt. 
Oliver Wiswall, and Capt. Thomas Tiles tone, were 
chosen as a Committee " to look for the thousand 
acres of land granted to Dorchester school, to see 
where they could find the same." They were " also 
empowered to get a surveyor to lay out the said land 


forthwith, and to make a return of their doings " to 
the town, at the December meeting. 

On the llth of September, 1717, Mr. Samuel Ca- 
pen, Sen., and Joseph Hall were appointed to "look 
after " the said lands, " with all speed, wisdom and 
discretion for the good of the town." 

Finally, after the lapse of about sixty years from 
the time of the grant, the land was selected and laid 
out. The tract was located in what was afterwards 
called Lunenburg, in Worcester Co. (See p. 295.) 
From the financial accounts of the town, made up 
for the year 1718, we learn there was u paid at sun 
dry times to the committee for laying out 1000 acres 
of land, 8 13s." 

In 1727, Joseph Hall and Edward Foster peti 
tioned for the purchase of the school land " beyond 
Lancaster ; " but the town voted not to sell. Six 
years after, however, it was decided that the land 
should be " sold to y e highest bidder, in case there 
be as much offered and gaue as y e Committe Judge 
to be y e value thereof." The reason given for this 
readiness to dispose of the town s property was, that 
the land " is at present a Charge to y e Town, and 
not likely to be a Profit in y e Place where it lyes." 
So it was sold the same year (4th of March, 1733-4) 
to Benjamin Bird, of Dorchester, for the sum of 
400. ^ 

On the 18th of December following, the town 
voted that " our representative, Col. Thomas Tile- 
stone, Petition y e Great and General Court, in y e 
Name & behalf of this Town, for a Grant of a Tract 
of Land of y e Unappropriated Lands of this Pro- 


vince, towards y e Maintenance of a Grammar School 
in this Town." It is inferred that Col. Tileston did 
not offer the petition, as the town and Court records 
are silent in regard to its presentation. 

Distinct from the before-mentioned grant of the 
General Court to Dorchester, for the use of " a free 
school," the inhabitants of the towri, in 1657, voted 
to appropriate 1000 acres of her own soil for the 
same noble and specific purpose. Accordingly, in 
1662, Roger Clap, Hopestill Foster, William Sum- 
ner and John Minot, were chosen " to look out some 
convenient place or places for the laying out " the 
said land. In the latter part of the next summer 
they rode into the country for this end, " and com 
ing to a place above Dedham," did agree " to take 
up 300 acres at one place; namely, beginning at 
that place where Dedham and Dorchester line doe 
meet with Naponset River, and so to come down, as 
far as 300 acres will extend, both in length and 
breadth, as the conveniency of the land will afford 
when it is layd out by measure." The residue of 
the land, as will subsequently appear, was laid out 
near forty years afterwards. A return was made to 
the town of the doings of their committee, above- 
mentioned, which was accepted, and John Capen 
and William Sumner were appointed feofees of the 
school land, with power to let the same " at their 
best discretion." Leases were granted to different 
individuals ; among others to John Farrington, Rich 
ard Elice, and John Pigge, in 1677, for 4. They 
were to pay in such corn as grew on the ground 
leased them, and " to leaue such a fence about it as 


they make vse of," provided " that y e warrs with y e 
Indians doe not p r uent improuement." 

In 1668, it was voted that the thousand acres 
" given to the use of the school should never be 
alienated to any other use, nor sold, nor any part of 
it, but be reserved for the maintenance of a Free 
School in Dorchester forever." The phraseology of 
this vote, and its disconnection, make it uncertain 
to us whether it related to the town grant or to that 
of the General Court. So far as results are con 
cerned, it is immaterial, for both parcels were, event 
ually, " alienated " and " sold." 

At the request of Lieut. Capen and William Sum- 
ner, in 1680, the town " dismissed" them from the 
office of feofees for the school land, and made choice 
of Timothy Tileston and John Breck in their stead. 
In 1687, the latter individuals, with John Withing- 
ton, were chosen " a Committee to set the bounds of 
the three hundred acres of land which formerly was 
pitched upon for the use of the school, and to make 
their return to the selectmen." 

On the 25th of March, 1699, John Bird, Charles 
Davenport and Daniel Preston were constituted a 
Committee " to lay out the remainder of the said 
thousand acres," " for the use of the free school," 
" in some convenient place or places in the township 
of Dorchester not already laid out." In October 
following, the above-named individuals laid out 
" seven hundred acres of upland and meadow" 
(mentioned on page 270). The latter was between 
Taunton line and Seconk plain, near eight-mile 
brook ; a portion of said meadow being called 


" Lelme s meadow." By a subsequent settlement of 
the division line between Dorchester and Bridgewa- 
ter, some parts of the school land were annexed to 
the latter town. It was found necessary, therefore, 
to lay out portions of the land anew. This was done 
in 1705. 

Robert Calef, for several years, rented a portion 
of the school farm at 6 per annum, it being " on 
this side Wading River." In 1709, 800 acres of the 
school land was leased to him, " his heirs and as 
signs, for the term of 308 years." The final dispo 
sition that was made of this " farm," by the town, 
will presently appear. 

Daniel Waldo was another tepant. He gave the 
town some trouble. In 1710, Robert Spurr, Thomas 
Tileston and Edward Breck were chosen to sue him 
" off the farm." The " court charges " to the town, 
in this affair (1713), was 5 16s. 6d. In 1715, the 
town voted " to treat " with Waldo in the matter, 
and ascertain the amount of damage he had sustain 
ed " by reason of Plimouth line cutting off a part 
of said farm." It was agreed, in 1721, that some 
consideration should be made him. The town de 
layed in the matter. Waldo set forth that he had 
been a great sufferer by being ejected from the farm, 
and reminded the town of their promise, " that they 
would consider of his case when they should come 
again into y e Possession of s d land, which they since 
have, and now enjoy y e produce of." They voted, 
therefore, in 1728, to pay him 25. 

It is stated, in the deeds of division, that the 
" Waldo farm " contained about 230 acres. On the 


15th of November, 1747, these lands were divided 
between the towns of Dorchester and Stoughton by 
committees of both towns. Dorchester had 140 
acres on the south side, near the colony line, being 
(7115) seven thousand one hundred and fifteenth 
parts. Stoughton had the remainder (4115), four 
thousand one hundred and fifteenth parts, or 90 acres. 
Provision was made that, " if hereafter there should 
happen to be Iron Ore found in any part of y e s d 
Tract of Land, it shall be to y e use of y e schools of 
both y e s (1 Towns in y e Proportion abouesaid, the 
s d Division of y e Land notwithstanding. * 

On the 12th of June, 1767, the General Court 
empowered the town of Dorchester to sell their 
above-mentioned school land. Richard Hall, Wil 
liam Holclen and Elijah Davis were appointed by 
the town, in March following, as a committee to dis 
pose of it. On consideration, therefore, of 420 
paid by Theophilus Curtis, of Stoughton, gentleman, 
and Edmund Soper, of Brain tree, trader, on the 12th 
of January, 1768, the committee gave them a deed 
for 105 acres. (Suffolk Deeds, Lib. 124, fol. 96.) 

We have found no record of the disposition, by 
deed or otherwise, of the residue of this school land, 
being 35 acres. It is mentioned in 1772 (Town 
Records, Vol. III., p. 375), that Mr. Seth Turner 
was one of the purchasers of the school farm near 
Bridgewater. Whether he obtained it of the town, 
or of the grantees, we are not informed. 

In 1687 it was voted, " that the meadow called 
Everett s, being about six miles off the school land, 



shall be and lie for the use of the school." There 
seems to be no mention, so far as we have learned, 
of the quantity, precise locality, nor of the sale, by 
name, of the " Everett meadow." 

In 1790, sixteen acres and thirty-seven rods of 
land, being " a part of the school farm," was sold to 
Seth Bullard, Andrew Willet and John Hartshorn, 
of Walpole, for 81 3s. This was probably undi 
vided land, as the committee of disposal were select 
ed from the towns of Dorchester, Stoughton and 

Robert Calef, the lessee of the school land, before- 
mentioned, died 13th of April, 1719, at the age of 
71, and was interred in the Roxbury burial ground. 
He was father of the celebrated Robert Calef, author 
of " More Wonders of the Invisible World," &c. In 
1744 the town voted to sue the heirs of Robert Calef, 
" who hold under a lease of an Excessive Length, and 
also refuse to pay their Annual Rent in Money or 
Bills of Credit." A writ of ejectment was accord 
ingly issued against two of the heirs, Daniel Hewes 
and William Hewes, by name, though they were not 
the only persons who had a right, by the lease of Mr. 
Calef, to occupy the land. In 1759, it is recorded 
that the action was continued from the Superior 
Court, that the town might be consulted whether 
they would have the controverted subject left in 
equity to the Court, or to referees, Stoughton having 
a right to a part of the income of the farm. In 1771, 
the town petitioned the General Court for leave to sell 
this land. The following, in relation to it, is from 
the Court Kecords, Vol. 29, p. 123 : 


"July 4th, 1771. A petition of Elijah Davis and 
others, a Committee of the Town of Dorchester, and of 
Elijah Dunbar and others, a Committee of the Town of 
Stoughton, Praying that they may be impowered to make 
sale of 800 acres of Land now lying in Wrentliam, which 
was laid out and appropriated by the Town of Dorches 
ter, in the year 1657, for the benefit of a Free School in 
said Town, and was leased in the year 1709 to Mr. Rob 
ert Calef, his Heirs and assigns, for the term of 308 years ; 
and that the money arising by said sale be applied for the 
benefit of Free Schools in said Towns ; Doctor Timothy 
Stevens, the present Lessee, joining in the prayer of the 

The General Court granted the prayer of the pe 
titioners, who were empowered to sell the land and 
apply the income thereof for the benefit of free 
schools in Dorchester, Stoughton and Stoughtonham. 

William Holden, Ebenezer Pope and Elijah Davis, 
of Dorchester Elijah Dunbar, Benjamin Gill and 
Thomas Crane, of Stoughton being appointed by 
their respective towns a committee to make sale 
of the above-said land, did, on the 5th of November, 
1772, in consideration of 284 13s. 4d. lawful 
money, paid by Timothy Stevens, sell him the school 
farm in Wrentham (except what was granted to 
Samuel Brenton, Wading river house, and John Fos 
ter) in all, 800 acres. Seven days after the above 
date, Dr. Stevens sold Stephen Cooke 142 acres of 
the land, for 282 ; on the 2d of December, Ralph 
Freeman, of Bellingham, 110 acres, for 155 Is. 8rf., 
and Richard Stratton, of Providence, R. I., 107 acres, 
for 142 135. 4d. ; also to Stratton, on the 18th of 
January following, 100 acres, for 133 6s. Sd. ; the 


day succeeding, to Samuel Scott, 176 acres, 3 quar 
ters, 11 rods, for 14:5 17s. The total sum, there 
fore, received by Dr. Stevens for less than five-sixths 
of his land, was 858 185. 3dL, or more than three 
times the amount paid for the whole. This was not 
the first nor last time that public property has been 
thus disposed of. 

Having traced the history of the thousand acre " 
grants to the " free school," from the General Court, 
and from the town itself, we proceed to notice indi 
vidual bequests to the school. Earliest among these, 
was the legacy of John Clap, of Dorchester, son of 
Richard Clap, of England, and a brother of Nicho 
las and Thomas, who settled in Dorchester. He 
died the 24th of July, 1655, without issue, leaving 
a wife, Joan, who married, subsequently, John Ellis, 
of Medneld. 

The following is an extract from Mr. Clap s will, 
dated 11 July, 1655. " I giue and bequeath to my 
dear and loving wife, my now dwelling house with 
all my lands both in y e necke & in the woods w ch to 
me doth appertayne, dureing her natural 1 life ; & 
after my wife s decease I giue my said house and land 
to the maintenance of the ministry & a Schoole in 
Dorchester foreuer." The value of these, by the in 
ventory rendered, was 56. The " land in y e necke " 
contained, by admeasurement, 13 J acres, 15 rods. It 
is situated at South Boston Point, nearly opposite 
the grounds connected with the City Institutions. 
This land was sold on the 16th of June, 1835, to 
the " Warren Association " (John Pickering and oth 
ers, trustees), for the eum of $13,5 1 JO 62. (See Suf- 


folk Deeds, Lib. 392, fol. 170.) The proceeds were 
used by the town towards erecting new school- 
houses, as will subsequently appear. 

Dr. Harris says, it " is supposed " " the piece of 
salt marsh at Farm-bar, containing 5a. 3qr. 22r." was 
also a gift to the town from Mr. Clap. " The origin 
of the Town s title to the latter piece," he continues, 
" is in some measure conjectural. Mr. Noah Clap, 
as Town Clerk, and by direction of the Town, made 
an entry of these and other town lands in the re 
cords of 1793, wherein he states that Edward Mills, 
a former schoolmaster, made a contract with the 
town, which is on the files, to teach the school for 
the annual salary of 20 in grain, and 10 in mon 
ey, and the improvement of the school land at Smelt 
brook and l the school meadow over the water, and 
as an inference says, it w r as probable that the 
meadow at Farm-bar was the gift of John Clap. 

John Gomel, in 1673, by will donated 20 "for 
the maintenance of the scoole." (See pp. 121, 236.) 

Christopher Gibson, by his will, made in 1674, 
after the payment of debts and legacies, devised that 
the residue of his property should * redown to the 
free school of Dorchester for perpetuity." Daniel 
Preston, Sen., as surviving executor of the will of 
Mr. Gibson, purchased of Samuel Bigbee, in 1680, 
for 104, the " school pasture," so called, contain 
ing about 26 acres. This land was conveyed by 
said Preston, in February, 1693, to the Selectmen of 
the town, to hold, to them and their successors, for 
the use of the schools in Dorchester, forever. A 
fund has accumulated from the sales of the said land, 


amounting, in 1857, to $11,19241. (See pp.53, 
227, 241.) 

Hopestill Foster, in 1676, gave 5, " to be added 
to brother Gibson s legacy " to the free school. 
(p. 118.) 

. i^ Lieut. Gov. Stoughton, a native of Dorchester, 

who died in 1701, was an important donor to the 

school, the details of whose bequest, extracted from 

his will, are given on pages 274-276 of this work. 

/The " Stoughton school fund," in 1857, was $3,320. 

In the assignment of names to the schools in town, 
that only of Gibson, among the above-mentioned 
donors, has been taken. 

. Hon. James Bowdoin, son of Gov. Bowdoin, pur 
chased of Capt. John Homans a piece of wood-land 
in Milton, containing 9i acres and 15 rods. On the 
first day of March, 1797, Mr. B. made a deed of gift 
of said land to the town, for the use of the schools. 
In the winter of 1821-2, the wood from this lot was 
sold, and the proceeds, amounting to $964 54, were 
placed in the treasury. This money was afterwards 
paid out in support of schools, and to meet other 
current expenses of the town. 

Having, to some extent, noted the public grants 
and individual gifts to the town for school pur 
poses, let us return to the primitive " scoole house," 
on " Settlers street," as it has been called, where 
Ichabod Wiswall taught, and was succeeded by 
Atherton, Foster, Minot, Dennison, Williams and 
others. In 1674, Ensign Richard Hall was "em 
powered to see that the school house be repaired 
either by Clabording or Shingleing the Roofe." 


The next year, Richard Withington and Daniel Pres 
ton were appointed, by the Selectmen, " to see that 
the school-house be fitted up with seats, and a lock 
and key for the door." On the 8th of March, 1680, 
it was voted, that the school-house be repaired 
" where it now stands " John Breck and Timothy 
Tileston to attend the work. The above emphatic 
vote leads us to infer that questionings may have 
arisen in regard to a new house, and a different loca 
tion. Soon after, a new building seems to have been 
called for. The town voted to erect one, in 1694 ; 
said house to be located by the Selectmen. An 
agreement was therefore made with John Trescot to 
build a house 20 feet long and 19 feet in width, 
with a ground floor and chamber floor, one pair of 
stairs and a chimney to be boarded and clapboard- 
ed filled up between the studs fully covered with 
boards and shingles, and to be finished before the 
29th of September, 1694 ; said Trescot to have the 
glass, lock and key, hooks and hinges of the old 
school-house, and 22 current money of New 

This new house was erected on the hill, near the 
meeting-house. " The smooth face of a large rock," 
says Rev. Dr. Harris, " made the principal part of 
the north end and formed the back of the fire-place." 
According to tradition, it was situated on the east 
erly side of what is now Winter street, nearly oppo 
site the residence of Mr. Hiram^Shepard the large 
perpendicular rock yet remaining. In 1727, a leanto 
was to be built to the school-house, " to put wood 
in." With regard to the supply for the school, it 


has already been seen, that in the year 1645-6 the 
Wardens were authorized to provide " 12 sufficient 
Cart or wayne loads of wood fo r fewell," for the use 
of the school, the expense to be borne by the scho 
lars, who were to be taxed for that purpose. In 
1668, it was ordered that " those that send their 
Children to schole shall, the winter time, bring for 
Each Child a load of wood, or halfe a Cord of Cord 
wood; and thos y* bring it in log-w r ood are to cut it 
after it come to y e schol hous, and for thos boys y* 
goe but a p rt of y e winter we leaue it to y e Masters 
discretion to appoint y e p r portion for such." In 
1710, it was voted that each of the children should 
be provided, by those who sent them, with " two 
feet of wood, or two shillings and six pence money, 
to be delivered to the School Master within one 
month after the 29th of September, annually, or their 
children to have no privilege of the fire." In 1715, 
from the first of September to the last of March, it 
was to be, either two feet of wood, or three shillings 
and sixpence in money, to be furnished within seven 
days after the child came to the school. Similar votes 
were passed, at various times, until 1732, when the 
school was provided with wood at the town s charge. 

In 1726, there was a petition from sundry inhabi 
tants of the south precinct, praying that the town 
would continue a reading and writing school among 
them. Twenty pounds were allowed the Select 
men to appoint the schoolmaster, and " where y e 
school shall be kept." 

In 1731, there was a petition for two schools in 
town, but the request was not granted. Next year 


the town voted, that a writing school be kept in the 
south-end of the town, for four months, to com 
mence on the first of November. 

In 1734, it was proposed "Whether y e Town 
would have a writing school in y e South end of y e 
Town, part of y e year current ? " The vote was in 
the negative. Some years afterwards, we find, they 
were again " allowed towards a school." 

In the year 1759, and before, there was a school- 
house standing on what is now Hancock street, a 
little north of the present residence of Mr. William 
D. Swan. When this house was erected, we have 
not the means of ascertaining. It is described as 
being a low building, with a pitched roof. The 
school-room was nearly square. On three sides of 
the house a seat was attached, for the boys to sit on, 
in front of which, at a proper distance, was the 
place to write and lay their books while studying. 
This flat desk or form was made of a sufficient width 
to accommodate them with another range of seats on 
the inside, so that the boys would write and study 
facing each other. There was a shelf, also, run 
ning round the house on three sides, on which the 
books were laid when not in use. The boys of the 
inner seat, coming to the school, through mud and 
snow, as they often did, by stepping on their own 
seat to the place on which they wrote, had access to 
their books on the shelves. The heavy, awkward 
tread of a thoughtless boy on the writing place of a 
school-fellow, would have no great tendency to im 
prove said scholar in the art of penmanship. On 
the contrary, his " pot-hooks and trammels " might 


suddenly assume a zigzag shape, or run at once into 
a tangent, while he, a careful child, was endeavoring 
to " follow copy." One who was of that " old 
school " (Deacon James Humphreys), has said : " I 
once stood on the place where the boys were writing, 
having my book on the shelf, and read through the 
general Epistle of St. James, without being inter 
rupted by the Master, and not much by the boys." 
In the centre of the room was a large table and an 
arm chair for the teacher. The chimney was on the 
west side, near the road. The jambs were so large 
that they embraced the entire space, save that for 
the entry door. The wood used for fuel was cut four 
feet in length. The door faced the south ; the wood- 
house, in the form of a leanto, was towards the road. 

On the 4th of March, 1771, the town voted to 
build a new school-house, to be situated on u meet 
ing-house hill." This house stood a little south of 
the former one, nearer " the parsonage," and on the 
same side of the street, both houses on land now 
owned by Mr. Swan. The latter school-house 
was afterwards removed, and is now the upper story 
of a dwelling in Commercial street, spoken of on 
page 356. 

The inhabitants of Squantum neck and the farms 
were allowed 12 towards a school as early as 1735. 
The same year it was agreed that the school lands 
should be divided with the town of Stoughton. In 
1771, the inhabitants of " the lower country road " 
were to have 2 12s. towards keeping a school. This 
was renewed to them the subsequent year, when 
those " of the upper country road and others that 


live at that part of the Town " were allowed 1 Ss. 
for the like purpose. At the same time the inhabi 
tants of Dorchester Neck were to receive " so much 
towards keeping a school there, for Reading, Writ 
ing and Cyphering, as they pay to the Grammar 
school in Dorchester." " Samuel Robinson, who 
lives on Thompson s Island" (1771), was to have 
his proportionate part of the 10 granted towards a 
school on that side the river. In the apportionment 
of the school money the inhabitants of Dorchester 
Neck, the farms, Squantum, Thompson s Island, and 
the west part of the town, were often provided for as 
in the above instance, by a special vote. " The 
upper country road inhabitants " were allowed, in 
1774, 12 towards keeping a school, provided " it be 
kept where the school house now stands, near said 
road ; " those on the lower road to have 4. In 
1776, it was voted that three schools be kept; the 
40 allowed to be divided into three parts, " for the 
upper country road," "lower country road," and 
" lower part of the town." It was voted, in 1779, 
that there be a grammar school at the south end of 
the town for four months in the year, " to begin to 
be kept there after Mr. Smith s present quarter is 
out, viz., at the beginning of July." In 1781, it was 
to be continued for the same length of time ; in the 
two following years to be maintained by the town, 
through the half of each year. It was also voted, 
in 1782, " that there be a Grammar school kept at 
the School House, near the Meeting House, the 
whole year; " and, in 1784, the " school in the up 
per country road " was to be an annual one. 


In 1784, also, the town voted "That such Girls 
as can read in a Psalter, be allowed to go to the 
Grammar School from the first Day of June to the 
first Day of October." This seems to have been the 
first vote on record, providing for the public educa 
tion of females in the town of Dorchester. They 
had hitherto resorted to the " dame schools," where 
they had received simple instruction in reading and 
spelling, in sewing and embroidery, working of 
" samplers," &c. They had, previously, been admit 
ted to the public school one afternoon annually, at 
the general catechizing in the fall of the year, when 
each child was expected to answer two questions, at 
least, from the Assembly s Catechism. The exer 
cises would then close with some good advice from 
the pastor, and a prayer. Our fathers did not seem 
to understand it necessary that " the girls " should 
receive equal education with " the boys." Arithme 
tic, geography, writing and grammar, were not al 
ways considered as important or requisite portions 
of female learning. In more senses than one, our 
honored mothers received a home education. As 
light broke in, the needs and necessities of females 
became more manifest, and it is pleasant to chroni 
cle the fact of their being permitted to attend the 
public schools, even for four months in the year. 

In 1785, a committee was chosen to "view the 
school farm at Dedham," and see what it could be 
sold for. Said farm contained, by admeasurement, 
299J acres, 12 rods. The committee were offered 
$3500 for it, which was 3 10s. per acre, on an 
average. A larger committee were afterwards cho- 


sen, who were to act discretionary as to the dispos 
ing of it. They reported verbally, the next year, 
that an offer had been made of 4000, which they 
did not judge enough for it, and had not disposed of 
it." The land was sold on the 25th of March, 1790, 
for 1312 9s. IQd. ; and in the following year the 
towns of S tough ton and Sharon received their pro- 
portion, in full, of the money, which was 509 16s. 
54d. ; Dorchester part being 822 13s. 4Jd. 

In 1785, 15 were allowed to the " proprietors 
of the upper school house," as a compensation for 
their building. In 1790, 6 were voted to Ebene- 
zer Trescott, and others at the west part of the town, 
for school money. In 1787, it was voted, that the 
article respecting a stove in the grammar school be 
referred to the Selectmen, who decided that it is " not 
expedient to purchase a Stove for said purpose at 
the present time." So the suggested improvement 
for bodily comfort was deferred, to become practical 
at a later day. 

That native wood was growing more scarce in the 
north part of the town, we infer from a vote passed 
in 1791, that it be "left discretionary with the 
Selectmen about purchasing wood that comes in by 
water, for our minister, the lower school, and the 
poor, this year." 

The same year there was a schedule made of the 
available school funds, viz. : " Stoughton Legacy, 
150 at Is. 6d. per ounce is 133.6.8. Lawful money ; 
school farm, Bridge water, sold 12 Jan. 1768, for 
351 4s., which was received and applied to the use 
of the Town ; school farm in Wrenthan, known by 


the name of Hewes s Farm, was sold Nov. 6th, 1772, 
156 175.; School Farm, Dedham, sold 25 March 
1790, proceeds not yet received, amt. with interest, 
879 Is. ; Donation of Proprietors of Dorchester, 
given to the Town to be applied to some publick 
Purpose, has been appropriated to the use of schools, 
100 ; piece of land near Mr. John How s [the 
School Pasture] supposed worth 300 ; i a Pasture 
upon the neck, supposed worth, 50 : Total, 1970 
8s. 8d." 

In 1792, a committee was chosen to consider the 
expediency of dividing the town into wards, for the 
better accommodation of the schools. They report 
ed, on the 5th of March, that there were " 177 child 
ren north of the meeting-house, including Dorches 
ter neck ; from said meeting-house to Mr. Jonathan 
Pierce s on the lower road, including said Pierce s, 
92 ; from Mr. Thomas Leed s to Mr. John Capen, 
junr., & to Mr. John Dolbeare s, inclusive, 111 ; from 
Mr. Abraham Pierce s to Roxbury line, on the upper 
road and other parts adjacent, 172; total, 552 child 
ren," under fifteen years of age. This is the first 
census of the children entered on the Town Records. 

The committee proceeded in their report to set 
the bounds of the four wards, as also to locate the 
several schools ; but, as this report was not accepted, 
though placed upon record, it may not be worth the 
while to give its details. 

The town voted, however, in the following May, to 
be divided into four wards, respecting the schools, 
and to appropriate 120, thirty to each ward, to 
wards maintaining said schools. The next year they 


voted to have four wards a school in each ward 
two of the four to be grammar schools, and one of 
these to be " near the meeting house ; " also, that 
" the grammar schools be open for girls, six months 
in the summer." These votes, at the same meeting, 
were reconsidered. It was then voted " to have 1 
grammar school," " near the meeting-house, and that 
no girls be allowed to go to it." 

In 1776, $250 were allowed for each school in the 
four wards. In 1797, two annual schools were es 
tablished, " one at the school-house near the meet 
ing-house, the other at the house used as a school- 
house in the upper road." It was also voted that 
there be 4 women schools kept in the four wards, 
during the summer season ; one in each ward, and 
that " the girls go to the two schools that are to 
be kept during the year at different hours, as the 
Selectmen shall determine." In 1798, the girls were 
to be admitted to the schools in the summer season, 
and $75 were voted for each of the four wards. The 
same year, the " new brick school-house " near the 
meeting-house was built, at an expense of $1287. 
The committee received for the old house, $88. In 
1801, a committee was chosen to lay out a piece of 
land near the burying place, to build a school-house 
upon, for the inhabitants of the north part of the 
town, or Ward 1. The Selectmen were restricted 
from laying out any land for said purpose on the " tri 
angular piece," "before the shop of Mr. Joseph Ca- 
pen." (The store of " J. H. Upham & Brother " is on 
one of the sites occupied by Mr. Capen.) The place 
selected and built upon, the house being of brick, was 


where the engine house, " Tiger, No. 6," now stands. 
The same year (1802) a committee reported that the 
sum of $300 be appropriated to each of the four wards 
for building school-houses ; the other parts of the 
town to have money in equal proportion to the num 
ber of their children, whenever they should see fit 
to build. It was voted, in 1803, to support four 
annual schools that year. In 1804, a new school 
district was added, by Ebenezer Trescott s, and called 
District No. 5. The town voted, in 1805, to grant 
$1650 to the four district schools, and $226 to the 
fifth district. In 1806, $1906 were raised for the 
same purpose; in 1807, $2000; five persons, also, 
were to be added to the Selectmen, as Trustees of 
the Schools. 

It will be remembered there were but two annual 
schools in the town prior to 1802, one at "meeting 
house hill," in the " new brick " school-house, the 
other " near Mrs. Vincent s," on the " upper road," 
now Washington street, about a mile from the bridge 
at the " lower mills " village.* In various parts of 
the town, females, also, were employed to teach the 
children ; some were retained for the whole year, 

* The above remark needs some qualification. As early as the year 
1793 an annual school was kept in the south-west part of the late Dea 
con Badlam s house, at the Lower Mills village. Daniel Leeds was 
the teacher. This school was continued for a few years, the old school- 
house by Mrs. Vincent s having been abandoned. In the year 1797, 
as will be seen, the old arrangement, of two annual schools, was re 
sumed. A new house was built on the site of the old one by Mrs. 
Vincent s, and the school at the Lower Mills village was discontinued. 
The inhabitants of the "village" many of them were dissatisfied 
with this arrangement, and sent their children to the Academy on Mil 
ton Hill, till the year 1803, when they were accommodated with a 
school in their own neighborhood. 


some for a portion of the time ; a part of these were 
public, others were private schools. The paternal 
grandmother of Mr. Thomas Jones Tolman, the 
former town clerk, taught school forty years. Her 
maiden name was Jones. She was no doubt a loving 
and faithful, as she must have been an experienced, 

There was much inconvenience attendant in the 
various districts from the want of a sufficient num 
ber of public schools. The town, therefore, was 
induced, as before mentioned, to appropriate twelve 
hundred dollars for the purpose of erecting four 
school-houses. Stephen Badlam, Dr. James Baker, 
John Howe and Moses Everett were chosen a com 
mittee to carry the same into effect, and in 1803, as 
will be seen, there were four annual schools estab 
lished. The money appropriated by the town was 
found, however, quite insufficient for the purchase 
of suitable lots of land and for the erection of the 
houses. It became, therefore, necessary that those 
who were interested in the subject of education, and 
were in possession of the means, should contribute 
towards the completion of the undertaking. John 
Capen, Jr., who resided on what is now River street, 
midway between the " upper and lower mills," hav 
ing a large family of children, and himself in afflu 
ent circumstances, " wishing to encourage and pro 
mote the education of the youth and the building 
of school-houses for the better accommodation there 
of in the southerly part of Dorchester," gave to the 
town, by deed, dated 14th of June, 1802, a lot of 
land containing about five thousand feet. This gift 


was made on condition that, within one year, a 
school-house should be erected on said land " that 
the same be put to no other use than that of keep 
ing a school therein, and such other purposes as 
are necessary and convenient to promote education," 
" and when it ceased so to be used, the land was to 
revert back to him or his heirs, he paying for the 
building at an appraisement. The land was at the 
time of the gift valued at about one third of the 
appropriation of the town. The town complied with 
the conditions, and the land is now a part of the 
school-house lot at the Lower Mills. " 

A house was also built the same year, probably, in 
District No. 2, on the " Lower road," now Adams 
street, near Mr. William Jacobs s. This yellow 
school-house has never been removed, and with the 
exception of an additional door on the easterly side, 
and a change, it may be, in the chimney from the 
end to the centre of the building, the old house 
seems, externally, the same a memento, to many, of 
their school-boy days. 

In 1803, also, the new school-house by Mrs. Vin 
cent s was moved, standing, to a location a little 
south of the present post-office, on the upper road, 
now Washington street. The building was com 
paratively small, yet the removal was attended with 
a great deal of expense and trouble to the town. 
With the facilities now possessed, much larger build 
ings are moved with greater ease and safety. 

The same year, the town voted " that Ebenezer 
Trescott and others be allowed three hundred dollars 
to build a school-house." The year subsequent, a dis- 


trict was formed, called the fifth school district. It ex 
tended from Dedham line to Boies s Mills, afterwards 
" Dorchester Cotton Factory," now a Starch Factory, 
to Cole s Lane, now Madison Street, and to Roxbury 
line. The first district clerk was John Savels. The 
committee to superintend the building of the new 
school-house, were Mr. Jeremiah Mclntosh, Mr. 
Lemuel Crane, and Mr. Jesse Ellis. The land was 
given by Mr. Crane for the purpose of a school- 
house, and for no other use. The district voted a 
tax of $180 in addition to the three hundred dollars 
allowed by the town. The old house was sold for 
25 dollars, making a fund of five hundred and five 
dollars with which to build a new house. It was 
built by Mr. Jesse Ellis, assisted by Mr. William 
Paul, carpenters. The amount of the bill from Mr. 
Ellis was 350 dollars. The whole cost for house, 
fences, c., was $472 86. The building was neat 
and commodious, containing seats and writing desks 
for sixty scholars. A small addition and repairs 
were made in 1837, and the house is a good one at 
the present time. Mr. William Sumner gave the 
district a stove, which was the only one in use for 
more than thirty years. 

It may be well, in this connection, to give a brief 
account of the latter school, previous to 1803. It 
is situated in the south-westerly part of the town, 
and is now called the " Butler School." 

In the year 1781, Nathaniel Weatherby and 
others petitioned tho town " to excuse them from 
paying their School Tax." " The Article was dis 
missed." At the March meeting in 1783, the town 


voted, " That Ebenezer Trescott, Nathaniel Wea- 
therby and others be allowed their proportionable 
part of the school money they using and improv 
ing it for the purpose of educating their children." 
Miss Polly Williams (who was afterwards the wife 
of Mr. Ebenezer Vose), a daughter of Dea. Isaac Wil 
liams, of Roxbury, kept the first school there, in a 
corn-barn^ before any school-house was built. Miss 
Williams was engaged by Mr. Richard Clarke, who 
moved the barn into his yard, opposite where the 
present school-house stands. This corn-barn, after 
being used for a school-room, was converted into 
a hen-house. 

The town from year to year made small appropri 
ations for the educational wants of the district. 
About the year 1786, a school-house was built, near 
where the present one stands " by Messrs. Trescott, 
George and Richard Clark, William Sumner, Lem 
uel Crane, Jeremiah Mclntosh, and others, inhabit 
ants of the district. It was one story in height, 
fourteen feet long, twelve feet wide, with no plaster 
ing inside or clapboards outside, and was only com 
fortable in summer. It had four small glass win 
dows, and one without glass, closed with a wooden 
shutter. A door was in one corner, with no porch 
or entry. It was filled in, or lined, with brick, in 
the year 1791, but not plastered, and was sold," as 
has been stated, "for twenty-five dollars, in 1804." 
Mrs. Hawes, wife of Joseph Hawes, Miss Gillespie, 
and other female teachers, taught here in the sum 
mer season. In the winter of 1790 and 1791, Mr. 
Lemuel Crane kept school in his own dwelling- 


house, and afterwards in the school-house in winter, 
the building having been made more comfortable 
by the rilling in, before mentioned. Mr. Crane also 
kept an evening school, to teach the apprentices and 
other boys in the fundamental branches of reading, 
writing and arithmetic. In the year 1796, " Eben- 
ezer Trescott and others were allowed one hundred 
dollars." The sums before this date, were six, nine, 
fifteen, and twenty pounds per annum. Miss Polly 
Crane, of Milton, kept the school in the summer of 
1797 ; Dr. Gould, of Dedham, in the winter of 1797 
and 98. They were followed by Messrs. Nathaniel 
Ileaton, Peck, Rev. William Montague, Perley 
Lyon and Griffin Child. The latter kept the school 
of 1803 and 1804, being the last teacher who taught 
in the old school-house. His salary was " thirteen 
dollars a month and board for the six winter months. 
The district paid two dollars a week for his board. 
Miss Martha Sumner kept the school in the sum 
mer of 1803." Mr. Griffin Child continued to teach 
the school in the winters of 1804-05 and 1805-06. 
He afterwards taught the school at the Lower Mills. 
Miss Susan Mclntosh and Miss Clarissa Sumner 
taught in the summers of 1805 and 6. Mr. Wm. 
Fox, of Woodstock, Conn., taught the school about 
three years ; Mr. Waldo Fox one year, until the 
spring of 1810. The town gave the district, in the 
years 1804, 5 and 6, the sum of $226 39 ; in 1807, 
$300. The latter sum was allowed each year, until 
about the year 1816, when another school-house 
having been built at the " Upper Mills " district, an 
annual school was established and kept in each 


house in proportion to the number of children east 
and west of " Capen s brook " fourteen or sixteen 
weeks in the old house, the remainder of the year 
in the new. This system continued until the 
district was divided. The westerly part was then 
called the seventh school district, and so continued 
till the district system was abolished by the town. 
The " new school," which is the larger one, is now 
called the " Norfolk School." 

It would appear that some, if not all, of the dis 
trict school-houses, built with the $300 appropria 
tions, belonged to the inhabitants of the districts 
where said houses were located the cost, over and 
above the town s grant, being met by individuals. 
These houses were afterwards surrendered to the 
town, to be permanently maintained by it. Accord 
ingly, the town voted, May 8th, 1809, to accept the 
school-house in District No. 4 (now " Gibson 
School " district) for school uses, the Selectmen 
to receive a deed from the said district. This being 
done, it became the property of the town. The 
same year, $2000 were raised for schools the next 
two years, $2100 each. 

In April, 1811, it was "voted to a-ccept the ces 
sion of the school-house in District No. 1 " (the pre 
sent " Everett School " district) " for the Town use 
to be retained and kept as a school-house as here 

In 1812, the town voted to have an annual school 
kept in the brick school-house by the north meet 
ing-house (the now " Mather School "). This school 
had previously alternated with the one on the lower 


road (now " Adams School " ) being kept on 
" meeting-house hill" in summer, and at the "lower 
road" in winter. The town also voted, in 1812, 
to raise 2700 for schools. The same sum was 
raised the two following years. 

It was voted, in 1818, that the school-house in 
District No. 2 (now " Adams School " ) " be put on 
the same footing as the other school-houses in 

From 1820 to 1824, inclusive, the annual appro 
priation for schools was 2300. In the latter year 
it was voted to raise 500 to repair school-houses. 

The following, from the record, was the estimated 
school expenses for the year 1821 : 

Six Schoolmasters salaries, at $400 . . . $2400 

Wood for six Schools, carting and sawing . 96 

School at Squantum 43 

Ordinary repairs of School-houses ... 65 

School Committee expenses 30 

Deduct School income 257 

To be raised by taxation $2377 

The whole town expenses that year were estimat 
ed at 653455. In 1857, the amount of tax raised 
in town was 87,91590; for schools, 23,62298. 
In the years 1825 and 1828, 2500 were appropri 
ated for the schools ; in 1830, 2300 ; so that in 
1857, the money expended for schools was more than 
ten times as much as in 1830. In 1827, a commit 
tee of the town, to whom was referred the subject 
of the high school, reported it " expedient to estab- 


lish " such a school, " otherwise the town exposed 
itself to heavy penalties." The report was not ac 
cepted. The next year there was a change made in 
the fifth school district at the Upper Mills, to take 
effect in the early part of the year 1829. " The point 
of division was at the place where the lane leading 
to Henry Bird s meets the Dedham road ; and on 
the east side of said lane ; and by a line running 
north and south from that point " those west of 
this line to have if parts of the money raised, to 
be called the 7th school district ; the remainder, to 
the easterly part, the 5th school district. 

Vocal music was introduced into the Gibson 
School by the teacher, Robert Vose, Esq., in 1830. 
This pleasing and healthy accompaniment to the 
regular exercises afterwards became general in other 
schools of the town. 

The inhabitants of Neponset village, in Novem 
ber, 1831, made a request to the town for assistance 
in supporting a school. The subject was referred 
to a committee, who reported, in the March follow 
ing, that said village contained twenty-four families 
and thirty-four children, mostly females, of the pro 
per age to attend school, but being about one and 
a half miles distant from any town school, they were 
in a measure deprived of public instruction, espe 
cially in the winter season. Conformable to their 
request, therefore, one hundred and fifty dollars were 
granted them yearly, to aid in the establishment of 
a public school. 

In the year 1834, it was reported that the aggre 
gate number of children in the public schools was 


647 ; and the whole number attending private 
schools, 233. The committee recommended to the 
town the support of five primary schools, one for 
each district, except No. 5, in addition to those 
already established ; these primary schools to be 
annual, and to be taught by females, whose compen 
sation was to be three dollars and twenty-five cents 
a week ; and all children under seven years of age 
to be sent to them. The report was accepted by 
the town, and soon after went into effect. 

One word more as to the districts. On or before 
the establishment of the first annual schools in town, 
there were certain defined bounds or limits made, 
called school districts. In 1801, these territorial 
limits were more systematically arranged, there be 
ing at that time four districts. Soon after this, ano 
ther school district was added. In 1815, these dis 
trict lines were renewed, and in some parts altered, 
so as to make six districts instead of five. Subse 
quent to this, as has been mentioned, the seventh 
district was formed. Little heed was paid, however, 
to the particular districts in which the children re 
sided, so far as their attendance at the different 
schools was concerned. Parents and guardians 
often sent their children to the nearest school, or 
otherwise, as their fancies, their individual prefer 
ences for a teacher, or the wishes of the children, 

In 1836, the several districts were "newly num 
bered, without altering the former lines." The com 
mittee then proceeded to number the schools in this 
wise: "No. 1, North Burying Place ; 2, Rev. N. 


Hall s Meeting-House ; 3, Lower Koad ; 4, Upper 
Road ; 5, Lower Mills ; 6, Upper Mills ; 7, South 
west part of the Town ; 8, Neponset Village ; 
9, Commercial Point." Afterwards were added 
" 10, Little Neck; 11, Mount Bowdoin." 

Four thousand dollars were raised in 1836 for the 
support of schools. 

In 1836 and 7, the town erected, finished and 
furnished six school-houses, each two stories high 
one for each grammar school district, at an expense 
of between $21,000 and $22,000. The sale of land 
at South Boston, as before stated, which was donat 
ed to the town of Dorchester, by John Clap, in 
1655, with the apportionment to the town of the 
State surplus fund ($8842 82), furnished the means 
for building said houses, so that a direct tax on the 
inhabitants for that purpose was not required. 

The Everett, Mather, Adams, Winthrop and Nor 
folk school-houses were built 42 by 26 feet ; the 
Gibson school-house, 45 by 30 feet. 

The town, also, in 1837, increased the salaries of 
the then teachers the male instructors to $450 per 
annum, and the female to $4 per week, with a pro 
viso that the pay to those who might be afterwards 
employed, should be, for the first six months, at the 
rate of $400 per year for males, and $3 25 per week 
to females. After said period, the matter of salary 
was to be left discretionary with the school com 

In 1838, there was a petition signed by nine of 
the teachers, desiring to be excused from keeping 
school on Wednesday afternoons. The committee 


" voted that their request be complied with." This 
vote was subsequently reconsidered, more than three 
hundred persons having signed their names in op 
position to the granting of the afternoon aforesaid. 

In 1839, a primary school was established at 
"Little Neck," now "Washington Village," $100 
having been appropriated by the town for that pur 

In 1844, the afternoons of Wednesday were grant 
ed to the schools from the middle of May to the 
middle of September. At the close of this term, 
the teachers desired a continuance of the grant. 

In this connection it may be interesting to give 
the sum total of holidays allowed the children and 
teachers, under the " regulations " thirty years ago. 
These were, " the afternoon of Saturday and of all 
town-meeting days for the choice of public officers ; 
the two Election days (being the last Wednesday in 
May and the first Monday in June) ; the fourth of 
July, and Commencement day." The children were 
also allowed to go to the sacramental lectures, with 
out losing their standing in the class, if their pa 
rents were inclined to send them ; and the master 
might " dismiss his school at an earlier hour," if it 
were " agreeable and convenient " for him to attend 
said lecture. In addition to this, the general visita 
tions of the schools took place semi-annually, in the 
months of March and September, when the commit 
tee would grant the children " one day of relaxa 
tion," " at the time most agreeable to the teacher," 
which was usually the day succeeding the " visita 
tion," or " examination," as it was generally called. 


There was also a provision, that " if either of the 
Masters have any scholar to offer to the College at 
Cambridge, he shall have liberty to attend to that 
business." Neither was the teacher required to be 
present at the public catechizing, when held at his 
particular school-house. The catechetical exer 
cises were then conducted by the minister the 
usual school duties being suspended. The latter re 
marks apply more particularly to the schools during 
the earlier part of the present century. 

The aggregate of the time allowed, as above, for 
cessation from studies for one year, Saturday after 
noons included, was scarce equal to a single long 
vacation granted the children now. 

In 1846, there were 1354 scholars connected with 
the sixteen schools in town yearly average attend 
ance, 715. The town this year voted to appropri 
ate $500 to purchase land and build a primary 
school-house near the junction of Columbia and 
Green streets. 

It is stated, that in 1847, there were ten private 
schools in town the aggregate number of children 
attending them, 168 ; at a private expense of more 
than $4000. This exceeded, by more than one half, 
the sum expended for the public schools that year. 
Soon after this, under the judicious management of 
the school committee, public school advantages be 
came enlarged, and private schools were diminished. 

In 1848, the town voted that the school commit 
tee be authorized to establish intermediate schools 
in the first six districts, and also in the school at 
Little Neck, whenever the aggregate average attend- 


ance amounted to 135 scholars, and that the sum 
of $1200 be appropriated for that purpose. It was 
voted, in addition, that an intermediate school be 
established at Neponset Village and other districts, 
^whenever, in the opinion of the committee, the 
wants of any district might render the same neces 
sary, provided there be in such schools twenty-five 
scholars too far advanced for the primary schools, 
but not otherwise. The town also voted the sum of 
$10,000 for general school expenses under the 
direction of the school committee together with 
the sum of $2,000 for buildings and fixtures for 
intermediate schools. In addition to this, $10,000 
were appropriated and expended the same year for 
a school-house and land at Little Neck. Said house 
was completed and occupied early in December. 
Besides this, arrangements were made by the com 
mittee for school accommodations in the neighbor 
hood of Commercial Point and Harrison Square, and 
a house was contracted for, to accommodate 200 
children the expense of the building being a little 
more than $4000. The same year the committee 
established intermediate schools at the Lower Mills 
and at Neponset Village, having purchased for that 
purpose, at the former place, a building previously 
occupied by a private school. For the Neponset 
intermediate, provision was made by adding another 
story to the building occupied by the primary school. 
Most of the school-buildings in town were, this year, 
thoroughly repaired, recitation rooms added, the 
school-rooms newly furnished with chairs and 
desks, and their whole internal arrangement almost 


completely changed. Additional female assistants 
were also appointed, in many of the schools ; so that 
the year 1848 has been set down as " an important 
and memorable one " in the annals of Dorchester 
schools " a year," the committee remark, " in which 
more, has been attempted, and, it is believed, more 
accomplished, than in any previous year." In this 
eventful year, by the vote of the town and the action 
of the school committee, the large sum of $31,000 
was specially devoted to school purposes. 

The school-house above alluded to, on Commer 
cial Street, between Commercial Point and Harrison 
Square, was first occupied in 1849 the primary 
school being removed thither from the house at the 
Point, and an intermediate school formed to meet 
the increased wants of the inhabitants. The two 
schools were united, and known as the " Maverick 

Names were assigned to the several schools in 
town, this year (1849), the committee thinking it 
more convenient and proper to designate a school 
" by a name, rather than by the number of the Dis 
trict." It was thought desirable, also, and well, to 
bring the schools " into association with some of the 
great and good men who have lived among us." (We 
quote from the report of the school committee.) 
" Accordingly, the school formerly designated as 
4 the school in District No. 1 (Sumner Street), was 
called the EVERETT SCHOOL : in token of the fact, that 
the family of distinguished scholars of that name 
one of whom has borne the highest honors, both 
literary and civil, of the State began their public 


education in that school ; " as also, it might be 
added, in honor of their father and his brother, who 
exerted each their influence, successfully, towards 
the establishment of the school. " The school on 
Meeting-House Hill " " received the name of the 
MATHER SCHOOL : after that eminent scholar and 
divine one of the most so, of his time, in New 
England Richard Mather ; and who, for more than 
the third of a century, sustained, in that locality, the 
office of Christian preacher. The school on the Lower 
Road (Adams St.) has been called the ADAMS SCHOOL : 
on account of its location on said street, and for the 
sake of an additional public remembrancer of that 
so honored New England name. To the school on 
the Upper Road (School Street) has been given the 
name of the GIBSON SCHOOL: in memory of" " Chris 
topher Gibson," whose liberal donation to the free 
school, in 1674, has been already mentioned. " The 
school at the Lower Mills (River St.) " " received the 
name of the WIXTHROP SCHOOL : " in honor of Gov. 
Winthrop. - w The Intermediate school in connection 
with the Winthrop (on Adams Street) has received 
the name of the ELIOT SCHOOL: after John Eliot 
(the friend of Winthrop), designated as the Apos 
tle to the Indians a name of peculiar propriety 
fcr that school, as being located in the immediate 
neighborhood of the scene of the missionary labors 
of th?,t true apostle. The school at the Upper 
Mills " was " called the NORFOLK SCHOOL : from the 
street of that name on which it stands. The school 
at Little Neck " [now Washington Village, South 
Boston] was " called the WASHINGTON SCHOOL: " " a 


name especially appropriate for that school, from the 
fact that it stands in the near vicinity of a spot 
selected by" " -the father of his country" "as the 
scene of important operations in the war of the revo 
lution. To the school at Neponset Village " was 
" given the name of the NEPONSET SCHOOL. To that 
on Columbia Street, the name of the BOWDOIN SCHOOL : 
from its location at the foot of Mt. Bowdoin," so 
named for Gov. Bowdoin and his son, who resided, 
for some time, on the easterly side of that eminence. 
To that between Commercial Point and Harrison 
Square, " the name of the MAVERICK SCHOOL : after 
John Maverick, one of the early ministers of the 
town," who has been noticed in this work. " And 
to that in the Western District (River Street), the 
name of the BUTLER SCHOOL:" after Rev. Henry 
Butler, one of the early teachers in the town, of 
whom more in the following chapter. 

In February, 1850, one hundred and eighty-three 
citizens and tax-payers of the town petitioned the 
school committee " to recommend to the town the 
immediate establishment of a high school." The 
subject was presented as desired. After much dis 
cussion and reflection, action was finally taken in 
regard to it, in 1852. An appropriation was made 
of $6000 for the erection of a suitable building, to 
be located on what is called the " School Pasture " 
land, " on the westerly side of South Boston turn 
pike, a little " ct north of Centre Street." From re 
turns made by Mr. Otis Shepa.rd, it appeared there 
were more than 1,500 children in town, between the 
ages of 5 and 15 years, and that four-fifths of these 


children were within two miles distance of the above 
location. The house was accordingly built on the 
land designated. The building was entered and the 
school organized in the month of December, 1852. 
There were 59 scholars admitted, of both sexes, from 
the following Grammar Schools, viz. : From the 
Everett, 12; Mather, 10; Adams and Gibson, 7 
each ; Winthrop, 17 ; Norfolk, 2 ; and from private 
schools, 4. Mr. William J. Rolfe was chosen Prin 
cipal, and, in January, 1853, a female assistant was 
appointed. The next year a second assistant was 
added, and two assistants have been since continued. 
Mr. Rolfe was succeeded in April, 1856, by Mr. 
Jonathan Kimball, the present incumbent. Scholars 
are examined at the close of the summer term, for 
admission into this school. The examination is 
then conducted by printed and oral questions, 
seventy-five per cent, of correct answers being re 
quired as the condition of admittance. 

A new primary school was opened in the vestry 
of the Methodist Mceting-House, at Port Norfolk, 
in the early part of May, 1853, and was called the 
" Stoughton School." This was kept as a separate 
school until the close of the year 1855, when the 
new house, erected by the town, was completed. 
The Neponset and Stoughton schools were then 
united, and called the " Washington School." The 
building, which was dedicated on the 3d of January, 
1856, is located midway between Neponset Village 
and Port Norfolk. As a matter of history, it may 
be mentioned, that the Washington School, noticed 
on a former page, located in the village of that name, 


was, with a territory of 150 acres, annexed to 
Boston in 1855. The school was discontinued by 
the Dorchester committee in the early part of that 
year, and the house sold to the city for $6,000. 

On the 25th of February, 1856, the new building 
for the " Everett " school, at the north part of the 
town, was dedicated. Among the speakers present 
on this occasion, was the Hon. Edward Everett. 

The new house at the Lower Mills Village, ereci- 
ed for the use of the united " Winthrop " and 
" Eliot " schools, was consecrated to the purposes of 
education on the 5th of March following. The 
school-house lot was enlarged by a purchase of land, 
to the value of $1000, from the estate of Thomas 

The new " Mather School " was dedicated Sep 
tember 4, 1856. 

The " Gibson " school-house, the last of the five 
stately and commodious edifices erected by the town, 
within two years, for the grammar and primary 
schools, was publicly set apart for the objects appro 
priate to such institutions, on the 21st of May, 1857. 
The aggregate expense of the house, land, furniture, 
&c., was about $16,000. Three thousand dollars 
of the above sum was for land one thousand of 
which was munificently donated to the town by 
Hon. Edmund P. Tileston. Three hundred and 
forty dollars were also given by Roswell Gleason, 
Esq., for external useful adornments to this house, 
which is on a new site. The old house and land 
connected with it were sold. 

The whole amount of cost, for building and fur- 


nishing the five houses, the land inclusive, was 
nearly $60,000. The proceeds from the sale of the 
old houses, which was upwards of $5,000, more 
than covered the amount paid for land for the new 
accommodations. Tho expense of a few hundred 
dollars was mem 1-3". for an enlargement of the Eve 
rett School-house lot, but none for -Lie location of 
the new Mather School. The old building of the 
Everett School was purchased by several gentlemen 
in the north part of the town, and moved to the junc 
tion of Pleasant, Cottage and Pond Streets. The 
upper room was fitted up as a hall for lectures, the 
lower story was converted into a library and shop, 
and it is now called the " Dorchester Athenaeum." 

The old " Neponset " school-house was remodelled 
into a dwelling-house for two families. 

The " Winthrop " and " Eliot " buildings were 
purchased and removed to the site of the Roman 
Catholic Church, which was demolished a few years 
since by persons unknown. These two buildings 
are now fine dwelling-houses. The old " Mather " 
is transformed into a double dwelling-house. It is 
situated near the residence of Enoch Train, Esq., on 
Centre Street. 

Good school buildings are important means to 
wards making good schools. Through the liberality 
of the town, the former have been provided " ample 
in their accommodations ; chaste in their outward 
appearance ; convenient in their internal arrange 
ments " " a credit to their Architect and the town." 
May there be a corresponding symmetry and perfec 
tion in the character and condition of the pupils. 


In 1857, the amount of money appropriated by the 
town for the public education of each child, between 
the ages of 5 and 15, was $13 18. So that Dorchester 
stands, in this respect, the third in the Common 
wealth, and the second in Norfolk County the towns 
of Nahant and Brookline only being before it. The 
whole number of children in town, between the ages 
above mentioned, May 1, 1857, were 1657. The 
whole number in the schools, the High School in 
cluded, as given in the committee s report, April 1, 
1858, was 1704 in summer, 1691 in winter ; aver 
age attendance, 1334 in summer, 1360 in winter. 

A few words may properly be given here, in re 
gard to the books that have been used in our schools. 
One of the earliest, undoubtedly, was the old-fashion 
ed, blue-covered, New England Primer, so well 
known to us, which has passed through such a vari 
ety of editions the undisputed standard of ortho 
doxy in the days of our fathers. There was another 
book, however, which may have been, to some ex 
tent, its antecedent. A single leaf of coarse paper, 
with the alphabet and Lord s prayer printed on it, 
was fastened firmly, with glue, or some other simi 
lar substance, on a thin piece of board, and covered 
over with horn, to keep it from soiling. A book 
thus manufactured was called a " horn book," and 
was " used for teaching children their letters." Not 
unlikely it may have had priority to the primer in 
the Dorchester dame schools. It was a requisite of 
admission into the grammar school, that the child 
should be. able to read correctly in the primer. Pre 
viously to 1665, Bichard Mather s catechism was 


in use. In that year, the town voted to distribute 
a " new impression " of the book among the fami 
lies in town. In relation to the books and classes 
in the old school, near Meeting-house Hill, a century 
ago, Dea. Humphreys states there were three classi 
fications. The lowest was called " the Psalter class," 
next " the Testament class," then " the Bible class." 
The latter were required to read about two chapters 
at the commencement and close of the school, spell 
words contained in those chapters, and write and 
cypher. From the year 1759 to 1767, when he left 
the school, he saw " no other English books " there, 
he says, except those that have been mentioned, 
" till about the last two years, we had Dilworth s 
spelling-book and Hodder s arithmetic." The fa 
mous spelling-book of Noah Webster was first pub 
lished by him in Hartford, in 1783 ; the grammar 
and reader followed. These three parts were enti 
tled, " A Grammatical Institute of the English Lan 
guage." " Thomas & Andrews s twenty-fourth edi 
tion " of the spelling-book was printed by them in 
Boston, in 1802, the said firm having been induced, 
in 1790, by the popularity of the work, "to pur 
chase the exclusive right of printing all the three 
parts of said Institute, in the States of Massachu 
setts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, for the 
term of fourteen years."* How early these works 

* Noah Webster once stated, that seven millions of copies of his spell 
ing-book had been published, and that probably two thirds of all the 
[then] inhabitants of the United States had received the rudiments of 
their education from the use of this book. Salem Observer. 

He died at New Haven, Ct., May 28, 1843, in his eighty-fifth year. 


were introduced into the Dorchester schools, we are 
not informed. 

In 1816, there were various rules and regulations 
passed by the school committee, to be observed by 
the teachers. These rules were printed on a half 
sheet, and continued in force for many years. Pre 
vious to 1820, it is believed, the following books 
were introduced. For the "5th class, New York 
Primer ; 4th class, New York Preceptor, and Tem 
ple s Child s Assistant ; 3d class, Picket s Juvenile 
Spelling-Book, New York Reader No. 1, and Bing- 
ham s Geographical Catechism ; 2cl class, New 
York Reader No. 2, Abridgement of Murray s Gram 
mar, Temple s Arithmetic, Cummings s First Lessons 
in Geography and Astronomy, aid the TESTAMENT ; 
1st class, New York Reader No. 3, Kinne s Practi 
cal Arithmetic, System of Polite Le:,::ning, Perry s 
Dictionary, or, in preference, Sheridan Improved, and 
the BIBLE." To the more advanced were recom 
mended, " Cummings s Ancient and Modern Geogra 
phy, and Maps," and " Blair s Universal Preceptor." 
Morse s Geography, Walsh s, Pike s and Adams s 
Arithmetics, American Preceptor, Columbian Orator, 
and Scott s Lessons, were also used. 

A part of every Saturday was to be spent by the 
children in reciting from such catechisms as they 
might " severally bring, with a written request from 
their parents." 

Subsequently, Lee s Spelling Book, Leavitt s 
Reading Lessons, Cummings s Pronouncing Spel- 
ling-Book, Wilkins s Astronomy, Murray s English 
Reader, Worcester s Friend of Youth, Whelpley s 


Compend of History, Wo oclb ridge s Geography and 
Atlas, Daboll s Arithmetic, Colburn s Arithmetic, 
Walker s Dictionary, Pierpont s Readers, and other 
books, were brought into use. 

In the year 1832, there was a new selection made 
by the school committee, and, from time to time 
since, various books have been introduced, as they 
were considered needed. Prominent among these, 
have been the works of Mess. Swan, Emerson and 

Cooper s Thesaurus Romanse et Britannica? (the 
old Latin Dictionary, folio, referred to on page 259) 
was presented to the Dorchester school by Rev. 
Richard Mather. With the exception of the title- 
page, which is gone, the book is still in a good con 
dition, like the one in the Boston Athenaeum, print 
ed in London in 1578, though evidently not of the 
same edition. By a memorandum on the margin of 
one of the leaves, it appears to have been presented 
to the school in 1669. Four editions of this work 
have been issued. The first, in 1565 ; the same, re 
printed in 1573, 1578, 1584. It is probable that eight 
or nine successive generations of children and youth 
have taken " fruit and commoditte," as the author 
expresses it, from this identical book. " A studious 
yong man," he continues, " with small paines, by 
the helpe of this booke may gather to himself goode 
furniture both of wordes and approued phrases and 
fashions of speaking for any thing, that he shall 
eyther write or speake of, and so make vnto his vse, 
as it were a common place booke for such a pur 
pose ; " so that those disposed may " by their owne 


labour, without instruction or helpe of maisters, 
traueyle to attaine the knowledge of the Latine 
tongue." The author of this Dictionary, Thomas 
Cooper, or Couper, was born at Oxford, about the 
year 1517. He styles himself, in the first edition of 
his Chronicles, school-master at Oxford, but was 
afterwards Bishop of Lincoln, and then translated to 
Winchester. He enlarged the " Bibliotheca Eliota" 
a compilation by " Sir Thomas Eliote." In the 
hands of Mr. Cooper this work passed through 
three editions (the first in 1541), each with addi 
tions and corrections. In the Library of the Massa 
chusetts Historical Society is a copy of the book 
(edition 1559), which contains the autograph of 
Adam Winthrop, father of the elder Gov. Winthrop, 
as also that of the Governor and his son John, after 
wards Governor of Connecticut. This Dictionary is 
referred to, in a letter from the elder John to his son, 
while the latter was at college, in Dublin, June 26, 
1623. (See Appendix to Savage s Winthrop, page 
410.) Mr. Cooper died in 1594. 

We cannot better close our sketch of the public 
schools of Dorchester, than by quoting the remarks 
made some years since, by a former pupil, the Hon. 
Edward Everett. 

" I hold, Sir, that to read the English language 
well, that is, with intelligence, feeling, spirit and 
effect ; to write with despatch, a neat, handsome, 
legible hand (for it is, after all, a great object in 
writing, to have others able to rea*d what you write), 
and to be master of the four rules of arithmetic, so 
as to dispose at once with accuracy of every ques- 


tion of figures which comes up in practical life ; 
I say I call this a good education ; and if you add 
the ability to write grammatical English, with the 
help of very few hard words, I regard it as an excel 
lent education. These are the tools : you can do 
much with them, but you are helpless without them. 
They are the foundation ; and unless you begin^with 
these, all your flashy attainments, a little natural 
philosophy and a little mental philosophy, a little 
physiology and a little geology, and all the other 
ologies and osophies, are but ostentatious rubbish." 


Brief Notices of the Early Teachers in the Public Schools. 

IT is purposed, in this chapter, to give a succinct 
account of all the teachers in our Dorchester free 
school, whose names have been ascertained, from the 
year 1639 to 1804, inclusive a period of 166 years. 
Many of the names in our list are found written in 
the old Latin Dictionary referred to on pages 259 
and 477. The earliest entries made in that volume, 
are, apparently, in the hand writing of Eev. Dr. 
Harris. This book is in charge of the teacher of 
the " Mather School." 

The facts in relation to these individuals have 
been gleaned from various sources, presumed to be 
reliable. Much additional information could have 
been given in regard to many of them ; but, to bring 


the matter within proper limits, it was found neces 
sary to condense. 

It may be well, in the outset, to mention the re 
markable fact, that of the seventy teachers whose 
names have been found connected with the Dorches 
ter schools, during the time above mentioned 
nearly a century and three quarters fifty-three, or 
three-fourths of the whole number, graduated at 
Harvard College. Another obtained his education 
at that College, but, for reasons hereafter to be men 
tioned, did not receive a degree, though he subse 
quently fulfilled, faithfully, the duties of a minister, 
both in a clerical and in a political capacity. 

Of the remaining seventeen in the list, two gradu 
ated at Cambridge University, in England, two at 
Brown University, R. I., and one at Dartmouth Col 
lege. Thirty-one of these school-masters, or nearly 
one half, were ordained ministers, the most of them 
subsequent to their teaching school. It is probable 
not a few of the number were assisted in their stu 
dies for the ministry by their respective pastors, 
Mather, Flint, Danforth, Bowman, Everett and 

Dr. Harris mentions the name of " Mr. Conant " 
as a teacher of the school in 1638. We find no 
other authority for this statement. 

REV. THOMAS WATERHOUSE is the pioneer teacher 
on the records of our town. He was born about 
the year 1600 ; was a graduate of Cambridge Uni 
versity, in England ; taught in Dorchester in the 
year 1639, but soon after returned to England, and 


was a preacher in the county of Suffolk. (See p. 
141 of this work, for information in regard to his 

The following, in relation to Mr. W., is copied 
from Palmer s u Nonconformist s Memorial," vol. 2, 
p. 40& 

" Ho was a scholar of the Charter house. He cainc 
from the university very zealous for the ceremonies, but 
being curate to old Mr. Candlcr of Coddenham, his zeal 
very much abated. He there married a gentlewoman of 
a very good family. He afterwards had a living (in the 
gift of the Charter house) near Bishops Stortfor-d, in 
Herts. Upon the breaking out of the civil war, he went 
to New-England, and had removed all his effects in order 
to his settling there. But soon hearing of the death of 
his wife s brother (upon which a good estate fell to her 
and her sister), he returned to Old England, when he 
became master of the public school in Colchester. He 
had not been there long before he had an impulse upon 
his spirit that some remarkable judgment would befall 
that place, upon which he determined to remove, and no 
arguments could prevail with him to stay. Accordingly, 
in about half a year that town was besieged, and the hard 
ships they went thro were peculiar. Mr. W. had removed 
into High-Suffolk, where his wife s estate lay. After be 
ing silenced, he lived at Ipswich, and sometimes preached 
there occasionally, but his principal employment was 
teaching a school, for which he was peculiarly qualified, 
and he had good success. He died at Greeting in 1679 
or 1680, near 80 years of age. He was a very useful 
man, of a blameless conversation, and very firm in his Non- 


HENRY BUTLER was the teacher as early as 1648. 
He was born in the county of Kent, England, and 
received the degree of M.A. at Cambridge University. 
" When he was about 30 years of age he took a 
voyage into New England, with several others, for 
the free exercise of their religion, and continued 
there 11 or 12 years in the work of the ministry, 
and teaching university learning."* 

His wife was Anne, probably a daughter of John 
Holman.f Mr. B. seems to have been connected 
with the school as late as the year 1652. 

" Returning into England, he spent a year or two in 
Dorchester, and then settled at Yeovil [in Somersetshire], 
where he continued public minister till August 24, 1662. 
He continued his ministry afterwards in that town, and in 
other places as he had opportunity, and was often con 
victed, apprehended and imprisoned. He suffered great 
losses by fines and feizures of his goods, and was often 
forced to remove from his habitation. At length he set 
tled at a place in this country called "Withamfrary, about 5 
miles from Frome, where he was pastor of a congrega 
tion ; and no danger from enemies, weather or indisposi 
tion of body, hindered him from meeting his people, either 
in private houses or in Sir Edward Seymour s woods, as 
was thought most safe ; and though it was with difficulty 

* Palmer s Nonconformist s Memorial, vol. 2, p. 388. 

f Abstract of a deed from Butler to Holman, dated 4 August, 1673. 
(Suffolk Deeds, Lib. 9, fol. 46.) Henry Butler, now or late of Yeouel 
in the County of Somerset, Eng. Consideration .160 paid by Thomas 
Holman of Milton, do sell him all that housinge, lands, &c., which I 
the said Henry Butler have or should have in Milton or Dorchester in 
New England, which did formerly belong unto John Holman. late of 
Milton, deceased. Henry Allen. Joseph Allen, Attorney. Acknow 
ledged 7 Nov. 1674. 


and hazard that they met together, the congregation grew, 
and he did much good. Tho he had not 201. per annum 
to live upon till about two years before his death, no 
offers of worldly advantage would tcrnpt him to leave his 
charge. He was much afflicted with the stone in the lat 
ter part of his life, and yet continued his labours among 
his people as his strength would permit. He died April 
24, 1696, aged 72. His last words were, A broken and 
a contrite heart, God, thou wilt not despise. "* 

In 1670, when the church in Dorchester were 
about to choose a minister to fill the vacancy oc 
casioned by the death of Mr. Mather, three candi 
dates were nominated, one of whom was " Mr. But 
ler, in Old England." (See ante, p. 219.) 

The " Butler School," at the " Upper Mills vil 
lage," has been appropriately named for this ancient 
instructor of our fathers. 

ICHAIJOD WISWALL, the second son of Elder Tho 
mas and Elizabeth Wiswall, was born in Dorchester 
in 1637, and entered Harvard College, 1654. Seve 
ral of the members of his class were dissatisfied with 
a vote of the College Corporation requiring that stu 
dents should pass four years in the institution pre 
vious to taking a degree, whereas, at the time they 
entered, a continuance of three years entitled them 
to that honor. Accordingly, Mr. Wiswall, with 
William Brimsmead, of Dorchester who was after 
wards the first minister of Marlborough and per 
haps others, in a spirit, as they thought, of manly 
independence, left the College at the expiration of 

* Palmer s Nonconformist s Memorial, vol. 2, p. 388. 


three years, without receiving the customary degree. 
Before leaving College, however, young Wiswall 
seems to have been engaged in teaching school in 
Dorchester. In the Town Records, under date of 
8 Feb., 1655, is an agreement between the Select 
men and Thomas Wiswall, that his son Ichabod, 
then about 18 years of age, should be the teacher of 
the school for three years. 

The following is a copy of the contract, signed by 
Ichabod Wiswall, and by Edward Breck in the name 
of the rest of the Selectmen. 

"First, that Ichabod, w th the Consent of his Father, 
shall from the 7th of March next Ensuinge, vnto the end 
of three full years from thence be compleate and ended, 
instructe and teach in a free School c in Dorchester all 
such Cheldren as by the Inhabitants shall be Committed 
vnto his Care, in English, Latine and Greeke as from time 
to time the Cheldren shall be Capable, and allso instruct 
them in writinge as hee shall be able ; w ch is to be vnder- 
stood such Cheldren as are so fare ent red all redie to knowe 
there Leters and to spell some what; and also prouided 
the schoole howse from time to time be kept in good 
order and comfortable for a man to abide in, both in 
somer and in Winter, by prouiding Fire seasonably, so 
that it may neather be preiudiciall to master nor Scholar 
and in cause of palpable neglect and matter of Complaint, 
and not reformed, it shall not binde the m r to Endanger 
his health. 

" Secondly, that the Selectmen of Dorchester shall, from 
yeare to yeare, every yeare paye or cause to be paid vnto 
Icabod or his Father by his Assignment the full somme of 
Twentie Five Pounds, two thirdes in wheate, pease, or 
barley, marchantable, and one thirde in Indian, att or be 
fore the first of March, dueringe the three yeares, yearly, 


at price Currant, w ch is to be vnderstoode the price w ch 
the generall Court shall from time to time appoint." 

Annexed is a fac-simile of the 
signature of Mr. Wiswall; 
of Mr. Breck we have not 

It is not known how long Mr. W. taught the 
school ; probably some three or four years. Mr. 
Pole succeeded him. 

In 1676, Mr. Wiswall was ordained pastor of the 
church in Duxbury, and in addition to his regular 
parochial duties, was for many years a teacher of 
the public school in that town. Soon after his set 
tlement he married Priscilla Pabodie, by whom he 
had seven children ; among them, Hannah, born in 
1681, who married Rev. John Robinson, a successor 
to her father as minister at Duxbury; and Peleg, 
born in 1683 (H. C. 1702), who married Elizabeth 
Rogers, of Ipswich. Peleg was a school-master in 

Rev. Mr. Wiswall was an agent for the Plymouth 
Colony in 1689, and went to England to obtain for 
it a new charter. The coincidence is singular, 
that another son of Dorchester, also a clergyman, 
about two years his junior, was at the same time 
acting as an agent for the Massachusetts colony, 
and endeavoring to obtain a charter to unite Massa 
chusetts, Maine and Plymouth in one colony. Mr. 
Wiswall did the best in his power to obtain a dis 
tinct charter for Plymouth, while both parties were 
laboring to subvert the contemplated union with 
New York. Exerting themselves each to carry out 
the express objects and wishes of their constituents 


those objects being in some respects at variance- 
it was natural to suppose there might have been a 
collision between them. This appears to have been 
the case. The animosity manifested, however, was 
of a temporary nature. Eventually, matters were 
amicably settled. Plymouth was joined to Massa 
chusetts, a component part of which it has ever 
since remained. Those who were " wont to trot 
after the Bay horse," as Wiswall expressed it, were 
satisfied, having fully accomplished their purposes, 
and the diplomatists returned to their homes, Ma 
ther having punningly uttered a hope that the, 
" weazel " would " be content in his den." 

Mr. Wiswall, after his return, ministered accep 
tably to his people for many years. He is said to 
have been " nearly a faultless man," and to have 
stood " very high in the estimation of the whole 
Plymouth Colony, for his talents, piety, and incor 
ruptible integrity." The General Court of Massa 
chusetts voted him $60 for his services, and, after 
his death, 300 acres of land were assigned to his son 
Peleg, on petition, for the efforts of his father in the 
cause of the Province. 

He died in Duxbury, and was buried in the sec 
ond burial ground in that ancient town, his monu 
ment bearing the following inscription : " HERE 
63 D YEAR OF HIS AGE." " This stone," says Win- 
sor, " the oldest in the yard, is still perfectly legible, 
and free from moss emblematic of the good man s 
purity, whose remains lie buried beneath." " His 


death was c accounted a great loss to the country. "* 
(See Winsor s Hist. Duxbury, pp. 107-9, 112-15, 
180-4; Jackson s Hist. Newton, pp. 453, 4.) 

WILLIAM POLE, an early settler in Dorchester, 
after tarrying here a few years, went to Taunton, 
where his sister Elizabeth had, in the year 1637, 
effected what was called " the Tetiquet purchase," 
which included what is now Taunton and the ad 
joining towns of Raynham and Berkley. 

The name of William Pole stands the eighth in 
the order of those who were the first and an 
cient purchasers. On the 4th of December, 1638, 
he was made a freeman of Plymouth Colony. In 
1643, his name occurs the second on the list for 
Taunton " of those able to bear Arms in new Ply 
mouth." f 

He returned to Dorchester, it seems, as early 
as 1659, teaching successively till 1668. Some 
times he was elected by a vote of 
the town, and at other times by 
the Selectmen. In the year 1661, "the Selectmen 
did covenant " with him, and promised him 25 for 
his services that year. In 1666, there were " agita 
tions about a school-master," and a committee, con 
sisting of Mr. Richard Mather, Lieut. Hopestill Fos 
ter and John Minot, were chosen to procure a mas 
ter, while at the same time, " it was voted that Mr. 

* Fail-field s MS. Journal, quoted by Rev. T. M. Harris, in his Hist. 
of Dorchester, Mass. Hist. Coll., 1st Series, vol. 9, p. 180. 

f Hist, and Gen. Reg., vol. 4, p. 258. Emery s Ministry of Taun 
ton, vol. 1, pp. 18, 20,37,40. 


Pole should go on in keeping school until another 
master be provided." In 1667, the same committee 
were empowered " to agree with such a man as they 
shall judge meet, not exceeding Q a year." Mr. 
Pole continued with them, at the desire of the town, 
till another could be obtained, a school-master hav 
ing long " been endeavored after." In 1669, " Sir 
Atherton " succeeded him. 

In addition to Mr. Pole s services as a school* 
master, it may be mentioned that "he was Clerk 
of y e Writs & Register of Births, Deaths & Mar 
riages in Dorchester about 10 years." (For further 
particulars of William Pole, see ante, p. 96.) The 
inscription, from the top of the entablature over his 
tomb, is there given. The following is from under 
neath, at the head of the grave. 

" Here lieth buried y e body of 

Mr. William Poole aged 81 years 

who died y e 25 th of February in 

y e yere 1674." 

At the foot, a coat of arms of the family is en 
graved in outline. 

During Mr. Pole s administration (in 1665), the 
town voted, that " the new impression of Mr. Ma 
ther s catechism should be paid for out of the town 
rate ; and so the books to become the town s " the 
said work to be disposed of, to each family, accord 
ing to the direction of the Elders, with the Select 
men and Deacon Capen. The town paid Anthony 
Fisher 4 10s. for printing the catechism. Where 


can a copy of this work now be found] * The cele 
brated Cotton Mather, in his life of Rev. Richard 
Mather, his grandfather, says : " He published cate 
chisms, a lesser and a larger, so well formed that a 
Luther himself would not have been ashamed of 
being a learner from them." (Magnalia, 1, 454:.) 

HOPE ATHERTON,f son of Maj. Humphrey Ather- 
ton, was born in Dorchester, where he was baptized 
3()th Aug. 1646. He graduated at Harvard College, 
1665, and taught the school in his native town in. 

* Since writing the above, we have been favored with a sight of this 
rare book, a duodecimo of 124 pages the only copy that we have 
heard of in this country, after extensive inquiry. It is in possession of 
J. W. Thornton, Esq., of Boston. The title-page reads thus : 

A | CATECHISME | or, | The Grounds and Princi | pies of Christian 
Heligion, set | forth by way of Question | and Answer, j Wherein the 
summe of the Doctrine of | Religion is comprised, familiarly opened, | 
and clearly confirmed from the | Holy Scriptures. | By RICHARD MA 
THER, Teacher to the | Church at Dorchester in New England. 

Holdfast the form of sound words which thou hast heard of me \ in 
faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim. 1, 13. 

When for the time ye ought to be Teachers, ye have need that \ one 
teach you again the first principles of the Oracles of God, \ and are be 
come such asJiave need of Mi Ike, and not of strong \ meat. Heb. 5, 12. 

London. | Printed for lohn Rothwell, and are to be sold at | his shop 
at the signe of the Sunne and Foun | taine in Paul s Church yard neer 
the little | North-gate. 1650. 

The following, recommendatory of the work, is from the address " to 
the reader," by Rev. John Cotton and Rev. John Wilson, of Boston. 
" Wherein," say they, " you shall find the summe of the Doctrine of 
the Christian Religion, with pithy solidity and orderly dexterity digest 
ed together, and with clear evidence of truth confirmed from the holy 
scriptures : and both with such familiar plainnesse of savory language, 
as (by the blessing of Christ) the simple-hoiiest-hearted Reader may be 
informed and established in the highest truths, and the most intelligent 
may be refreshed and comforted," &c. 

f He is twice called Hopestill on the Suffolk Probate Records. On 
the College catalogue his name is latinized Sperantius. 


1668 and 1669.* Consideration, 25, " to be paid 
him in such Merchantable pay as y e towne vsually 
pay Kates & towne 
charges in ;"- what 
Children come out of 
other Towns, he shall have y e benefitt of them." f 
In 1669, he was to have 30. On the 8th of June 
of the same year, it was voted by the town, to dis 
miss Mr. Atherton from . his engagement to the 
school by the 29th of September following, " or 
sooner, if the town by their Committee can provide 
a supply for the school." This action was taken in 
accordance with a desire expressed by " brethren & 
friends living at or near the town of Hadley," that 
Mr. A. should enter " the public work of the Min 
istry with them." In 1670, Hatfield was incorpo 
rated as a distinct town, having been previously a 
part of Hadley. Mr. Atherton accepted a call ten 
dered him by the people of Hatfield to become their 
first minister, and on the 25th of November, 1670, 
they voted to build him a suitable house, and to give 
him a salary of 60 a year, " two thirds to be paid 
in good merchantable wheat, and one third in pork, 
with this provision : If our crops fall so short that 
we cannot pay in kind, then we are to pay in the 
next best pay we have. 

Rev. Hope Atherton married Sarah, daughter of 
Lieut. John Hollister, of Wethersfield, Conn., in 
1674. She had by Mr. Atherton three children. 

* The above signature bears date 8:1: 1068-9. 

f Extract from the treaty with him on the Town Records. 


Soon after the death of Mr. Atherton, probably in 
1679, his widow married Timothy Baker, of North 
ampton, a man of distinction in that town. She 
was his second wife. By this connection Mr. Baker 
had five children (the first child being born in Feb 
ruary, 1680-81), one of whom was the celebrated 
Capt. Thomas Baker, who married Christine Otis, 
of Dover, N. H. (See Genealogical Register, vol. 
5, p. 189-196.) 

Mr. Atherton accompanied Capt. Turner, in 1676, 
as chaplain, in the expedition against the Indians, 
in the neighborhood of Greenfield, which resulted 
in the celebrated " Falls Fight." 

Rev. John Taylor, of Deerfield, HI an edition of 
" Williams s Redeemed Captive" (1793), closes his 
account of the " Fight " with a brief narrative of 
Mr. A. " In this action," he says, " was the Rev, 
Mr. Atherton, minister of Hatfield. The following 
is the substance of a paragraph which he delivered 
to his people the sabbath after his return : 4 In the 
hurry and confusion of the retreat, says Mr. Ath 
erton, I was separated from the army. The night 
following, I wandered up and down among the 
dwelling places of the enemy, but none of them dis 
covered me. The next day I tendered myself to 
them a prisoner, for no way of escape appeared, and 
I had been a long time without food ; but, notwith 
standing I offered myself to them, yet they accepted 
not the offer. When I spake to them they answer 
ed not, and when I moved towards them they fled. 
Finding they would not accept of me as a prisoner, 
I determined to take the course of the river, and, if 


possible, find the way home ; and, after several days 
of hunger, fatigue and danger, I reached Hatfield. : 
" There were various conjectures at the time," 
says Mr. Taylor, " relative to this strange conduct 
of the Indians [in avoiding Mr. AthertonJ. The 
most probable one was, that it arose from some of 
their religious superstitions. They supposed he was 
the Englishman s God." 


Mr. Atherton never recovered from the effects of 
these severe sufferings and exposures. He died 
June 8th, 1677, leaving an only son, Joseph, who 
was living in 1736. 

JOHN FOSTER, son of Capt. Hopestill and Mary 
Foster, was born in Dorchester about 1648 ; graduat 
ed at Harvard College in 1667 ; commenced teaching 
school, it is thought, Oct. of 1669, at 25 per annum. 
In article fourth of his agreement, it was " granted as 
a liberty to y e Master, if he see it meete, for to go 
once in a fortnight to a lectuer." His salary in 
1670 was 30. On the 23d of December, 1672, it 
was agreed that Mr. Foster " shall teach such lattin 
schollars as shall Come to his fathers hous one wholl 
yeer next ensueing from the first of January next, 
and to instruct and give out Coppies to such as come 
to him to learne to writte " " for his paines to haue 
10." A fac-simile of his 
signature to this agreement 
is here given. In 1674, his 
" recompence " for teaching grammar scholars in 
English, Latin and writing, " at y e schole-house," was 
30. The same year the General Court granted 


permission to establish a printing press in Boston. 
One was set up by Mr. Foster in 1675 or 6. This 
was the first printing house in Boston ; now there 
are about eighty in that city. Mr. F. is known 
to have been the author of an almanac for 1675, 
also for 1680; and author and printer of almanacs 
for the years 1676, 78, 79, 81, the latter being the 
year of his decease. Among other works, he print 
ed Increase Mather s Exhortation to the Inhabitants 
of New England (" Are to be sold over against the 
Dove"), 4to. 1676; Hubbard s Election Sermon, 
delivered 3d May, 1676, 4to., 1676 ; I. Mather s 
Brief History of the Warre with the Indians, &c., 
4to. ; A relation of the Troubles of New England 
from the Indians, &c., by I. Mather, 4to., 1677; 
Hubbard s Narration of the Troubles with the In 
dians, &c., 4to., 1677 ; Rev. John Eliot s Harmony 
of the Gospels, 4to., 1678 ; Increase Mather s Ser 
mon " preached to the Second Church in Boston 
in New England, March 17, 1679-80, when that 
Church did solemnly and explicitly Renew their 
Covenant with God, and one with another ; " also, 
Samuel Willard s Discourse, preached the same day, 
after that Church had " renewed their Covenant." 
The two discourses, which were probably among the 
last works printed by Mr. Foster, are bound to 
gether. The preface, by Increase Mather, is dated 
April 19th, 1680. These books are all in quarto 
form, and several of them are in the possession of 
Mr. S. G. Drake, to whom we are partly indebted 
for the above information relative to Mr. Foster. 
Blake, in his Annals (p. 29), states that Mr. Fos- 


ter " made the then Seal or Arms of y e Colony, 
namely an Indian with a Bow & Arrow, &c." Dr. 
Pierce says (Address at opening of Town Hall, 
Brookline, 1845, p. 20) "the device is " "ascribed 
to " " John Hull," the mint master. In regard to 
this, it may be said that the original silver seal of 
the Massachusetts Company, in England, was sent 
over to Gov. Endicott in the year 1629. It was in 
use until the accession of Gov. Andros in 1686, 
which was about five years after the decease of Mr. 
Foster. The seal was probably restored in 1689, 
after the deposition of Andros, and laid by in 1692, 
when the Province seal, under the second charter, 
was substituted. In 1775, the Colony seal was 
adopted; and in 1780, our present State seal. The 
five seals, by way of distinction, may be designated 
as the " first charter," " usurpation," " second char 
ter," the " revolution," and " constitution " seals. 

It seems to be a mistake, therefore, to suppose that 
either of the persons above mentioned " made " or 
" devised " the first seal. Engravings of it certainly 
were formed, on blocks or plates, for printing, and 
it would be natural enough for the mint master and 
the printer, especially the latter, to have an over 
sight in their production. The impressions of the 
seal on the public documents, were variable in their 
size, and it is not improbable that both Hull and 
Foster may have designed or manufactured, in wood 
or metal, different sized models of it.* 

* See Felt s Historical Account of the Massachusetts Currency, pp. 
247, 248, 252 ; Drake s History of Boston, folio edition, p. 840 ; pages 
244 and 245 of this work. 


Mr. Foster died September 9th, 1681, aged 33. 
Thomas Tileston, of Dorchester, and Rev. Joseph 
Capen, of Topsfield, wrote elegies upon his death. 
These are printed entire in Simonds s History 
of South Boston. A portion only of the latter 
poem has been introduced into this work. The fol 
lowing is a poetical version of the Latin inscription 
on Mr. Foster s grave-stone. The inscription is 
given on page 245. 

" Foster, while living, starry orbs explored, 
Dying, beyond their radiant sphere he soar d ; 
And, still admiring the Creator s plan, 
Learns the wide scope of highest heaven to scan. 
Me, too, may Christ by his rich grace prepare 
To follow, and be reunited there." 

THOMAS S Hist, of Printing, vol. 1, p. 2TT. 

JAMES MINOT, who taught in 1675, 77, 78, 79, 
80, was born in Dorchester 14th (Farmer says 18th) 
September, 1653. He was the son of Capt. John 
and Lydia (Butler) Minot, and grandson of Elder 
George Minot, who settled at what is now Neponset 
Village about 1630. Elder George was born in 
England, Aug. 4th, 1594, and was the son of Thos. 
Minot, Esq., of Saffron Walden, Essex, England. 

James, the subject of this notice, graduated at 
Harvard College in 1675. " He studied divinity 
and physic," and by the combination made himself 
more efficient to minister to the general wants of the 
people. In June, 1680, the town " voted that if Mr. v 
Minot can be procured to preach once a fortnight 
(his year beginning in January last and to end next 
January) that he should have twenty pounds, half 


money and half other pay." Probably Rev. Mr. 
Flint, the pastor, was in feeble health at this time, 
for he died on the 16th of September following. 

After relinquishing the school in Dorchester, Mr. 
M. " removed to Concord, where he was employed 
as a teacher and physician. In 1685, he was hired 
to preach in Stow, for 12s. 6d. per day, one half 
cash and one half Indian corn ; and again in 1686, 
for what older towns had given their ministers 
13 for 13 sabbaths. In 1692, he had another 
application to preach there, which he declined. Re 
linquishing the profession soon after, he was appoint 
ed Justice of the Peace, in 1692, and a captain of 
the militia, then offices of much distinction. He 
represented the town several years in General Court, 
was much employed in various public trusts, and 
distinguished himself for his talents and excellent 

He married Rebecca, daughter of Capt. Timothy 
Wheeler, of Concord, by whom he had ten children. 
Many distinguished individuals in our country de 
scended from them. Mrs. Minot died on the 23d of 
September, 1734, aged 68. He deceased September 
20th, 1735, aged 83 years * 

The accompanying fac-sim- ^ /mer j^ irlc ^ 
ile of his name is from the & 
original in the second volume of the Town Re 
cords, date 12th May, 1677. 

* See a copy of the inscriptions on their grave-stones at Concord, in 
N. E. Hist, and Gen. lieg., vol. 1, p. 173, 4, in connection with a gene 
alogy of the family, from which the above extract concerning Mr. Minot 
is taken. 


WILLIAM DENISON taught the school in 1681 
to have 20 and " his accommodation for diet ;" the 
next year to have twenty shillings more in money ; 
in 1683 he taught part of the year. He was a son of 
Edward Denison ; was born in Roxbury, 18th Sep 
tember, 1664 ; graduated at Harvard College, 1681 ; 
married Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Weld, of Rox 
bury, 12th May, 1686. He was made a freeman in 
1690 ; was a representative to the General Court for 
twenty years, and died in Roxbury, 22d of March, 

1718, aged 54 years.* The an- 

to , . / . ., _ Q 
nexed is his lac-simile, 168 

Mr. D. belonged to a family of note. His grand 
father William, one of the early settlers of Roxbury, 
was a freeman in 1632, and a representative in 1653. 
His son Daniel was a representative many years ; 
an assistant ; a speaker of the House ; afterwards a 
major general. Edward, the second son of William, 
and the father of the subject of this notice, married 
Elizabeth Weld in 1641; was a representative in 
1652 and 55. He died April 26, 1668. George, 
the third son of William, and brother of Edward, 
was distinguished in the war with king Philip. 

The following in relation to the " possession " of 
Edward, the father of William (the teacher), is from 
the early records of Roxbury. 

" Edward Denison to have a piece of marsh and 
upland called Pine island, being fower accres, more 
or lesse, upon the riuer that leades to Dorchester 
tide-mill j* south-east, north and west compassed 

* See Ellis s Hist. Roxbury. 

f This was " Clap s mill," so called, referred to on page 113. 


with a creeke, and upon the marsh lately Thomas 
Robinsons, south." 

JOHN WILLIAMS, son of Dea. Samuel, and grand 
son of Robert, of Roxbury, was born in Roxbury, 
10th December, 1664. The maiden name of his 
mother was Theoda Park. She was a daughter of 
Dea. William Park, a person of distinction in the 
town of Roxbury. Through the aid and influence of 
this worthy man, his grandson, John Williams, was 
enabled to obtain a college education. He graduat 
ed at Harvard College in 1683, and in the subse 
quent year became a teacher in the Dorchester 
school. His signature to /[ /j Q */*. 
the contracts for keeping fJ-6** w&a-m* 
school in 1684 and in 1685, (j 
are on record. The fac-simile is from the one of the 
latter date. In the month of May, 1686, he was 
ordained as the first minister in Deerfield. This 
town, at that time a frontier settlement, was con 
tinually exposed to the attacks of the savages. Mr. 
Williams, with an undaunted spirit, took his lot 
with the people. Soon after his settlement he mar 
ried Eunice Mather, of Northampton, who was a 
daughter of Rev. Eleazer Mather, and grand-daugh 
ter of Rev. . Richard Mather, of Dorchester. On her 
mother s side she was a grand-daughter of Rev. John 
Warham, also of Dorchester. 

Rev. Mr. Williams had by his wife Eunice nine 
children, three of whom were afterwards ministers 
of the gospel, viz. : Eleazer, who was ordained at 
Mansfield, Ct. ; Stephen, ordained at Long Meadow, 


Mass. ; Wai-ham, ordained at Watertown, west pre 
cinct, now Waltham. 

The whole of Mr. Williams s family, then living, 
with the exception of Eleazer nine in number 
were taken captive by the French and Indians, in 
Deerfield, 29th February, 1703-4.* The two young 
est sons were murdered by them on the spot ; the 
mother shared the same fate a few days afterwards. 

A full account of the taking of Deerfield, and of 
the privations and awful sufferings that attended 
this unfortunate family in their journey through the 
wilderness to Canada, is feelingly narrated by Mr. 
Williams in his book entitled, " The Redeemed 
Captive returning to Zion," to which the reader is 

His captivity continued a year and nine months, 
during which time every artifice was used to bring 
the members of the family under the dominion of 
popery, but without success, except in one instance. 
His daughter Eunice was left among the Indians, 
when he was redeemed in 1706,f and no sums of 
money could- procure her redemption. She was at 
that time ten years of age. Soon after this she for 
got the English language, and in her habits became 
an Indian, one of whom she married. It is said the 
Rev. Eleazer Williams, of " Dauphin " notoriety, is 
her great grandson. She died in Canada at the ad 
vanced age of 90 years. 

Mr. Williams, after his release, settled again in 
the ministry at Deerfield. He married for his sec- 

* See page 280 of this work, 
t See page 282. 


ond wife a daughter of Capt. Allen, of Windsor, 
Ct, who, like his first wife, was a grand-daughter of 
Rev. Mr. Warham. By this connection he had five 
children. He died at Deerfield in a fit of apoplexy, 
on the 12th of June, 1729, in the 65th year of his 
age and the 44th of his ministry. 

JONATHAN PIERPONT son of Robert and Sarah 
(Lynde) Pierpont, and grandson of James, a mer 
chant of London, afterwards of Ipswich, Mass. was 
horn in Roxbury, in this State, 10th of June, 1665, 
Robert, the father, was a younger brother of John, 
who settled early in Roxbury. The latter was a 
great-great-grandfather of Rev. John Pierpont, the 
former pastor of Hollis Street church, Boston, late 
of Medford, who has kindly furnished information 
in regard to the Rev. Jonathan, with extracts from 
his diary. The following are selections : 

i( July 1st, 1685. I took my .first degree." [At Har 
vard College.] 

"4. I removed from Cambridge to my father s house." 

"Feb. 1. I went to Dorchester to keep school." [This 

is a fac- 



ture to 

the agreement.] " While I lived at Dorchester it pleased 

God to awaken me by the word preached." 

"Aug. 8th, 1686. I preached my first sermon at Mil 
ton. Text, 1 Peter, 5, 5." 

"July 31, 1687. I was invited to preach at Dedham 
for a quarter of a year. By the advice of Ministers and 
friends I accepted the call." 


"July 31. I left teaching school at Dorchester, and 
went to my father s house." 

He was twice invited, in the autumn of that year, 
to settle at Dedham, but declined. He also had calls 
to settle at New London, Sandwich, ISTewbury vil 
lage and Northfield, neither of which was accepted. 

"June 19th, 1688. I went to the funeral of Rev. Mr. 
Brock, at Reading. * * * * He was a man who excelled 
most men in Faith, Prayer & private conference. At the 
funeral I was desired by some of the principal persons in 
the place, to preach among them on the first sabbath in 

" July 1. I preached at Reading. Text, Heb. xii. 15." 

He had two calls, subsequently, to settle there. 

" 1689, June 26. I was ordained Pastor of the Church 
of Christ in Reading. * * * * Mr. Morton gave me the 
charge. Mr. C. Mather gave me the right hand of fellow 

" 1691, July 30. Having obtained consent of my Pa 
rents, I gave Mrs. E. A.* a visit." 

" Oct. 29. I was marryed to Mrs. E. A., a pious and 
prudent person." 

" 1692, March. My honoured Father Angier dyed." 

" [1692-3] Feb. 25. Our first child was born, which 
was a daughter; name Elizabeth." 

" 1693 [ ?], Sept. 14. My son Jonathan was born." 

" 1706, Oct. 13. My son Joseph born about one in 

" 1707, Feb. 11. Mary Pierpont born." 

* Elizabeth Angier, daughter of Edmund and Ann (Pratt) Angier, 
of Cambridge, was baptized September 22d, 1667. The prefix " Mrs." 
to the name of a maiden woman, was not uncommon in early times. 


The following inscription is on the grave-stone 
of Mr. P. at South Reading. 

" The Reverend Mr. Jonathan Pierpont, late Pastor of the 
Church of Christ in Redding, for the space of twenty years, 
aged 44 years ; who departed this life June 2, 1709. 

A fruitful Christian, and Pastor, who 

Did good to all, and lov d all good to do ; 

A tender Husband, and a Parent kind, 

A faithful friend, which who, who, can find 1 

A Preacher, that a bright example gave 

Of rules he preach d, the souls of men to save ; 

A Pierpont all of this, here leaves his dust, 

And waits the resurrection of the just." 

EDWARD MILLS son of John and Elizabeth 
(Shove) Mills, and grandson of John and Susanna 
was born in Braintree the 29th of June, 1G65 ; 
graduated at Harvard College in 1685 ; taught the 
school in Dorchester, probably from 1687 till 1692. 
In the year 1689, there was a "treaty about Mr. 
Mills keeping the school," between the Selectmen 
and the teacher; also in 1687, "as more fully ap 
pears in the new book." 

He married Mehetabel, daughter of Stephen Mi- 
not, of Dorchester, who was the son of Elder George 
Minot. Her mother s maiden name was Truecross 
Davenport. She was a daughter of the celebrated 
Capt. Richard Davenport, of the Castle. It will be 
remembered that Capt. D. was the standard bearer 
of the company of which Endicott was commander, 
at the time he cut the red cross from the flag, as a 
relic of popish superstition. Truecross was born, it 
is supposed, the same year ; hence her name. 


Mr. Mills went from Dorchester to Boston, where 
he exercised his gift of teaching for about forty 
years. His wife Mehetabel died August 16th, 1690, 
aged 25 years, 2 months and 2 days, as we learn 
from her grave-stone, still standing in the Dorches 
ter burying-ground. She left one son, named Ste 
phen. The father died November 7th, 1732, aged 
67 years. 

JOSEPH LORD, son of Thomas and Alice (Rand) 
Lord, of Charlestown, was born June 30, 1672; gra 
duated at Harvard College in 1691. From 1692 
till 1695, probably, he taught the school in Dorches 
ter. In the fall of the latter year, a church was 
gathered in this town with the design of removing 
to South Carolina, and Mr. Lord was ordained pas 
tor. The newly-formed church arrived at their 
place of destination, on the Ashley river, about 18 
miles from Charleston, on the 20th of December, 
and called the place Dorchester. On the subsequent 
second of February, " the sacrament of the Lord s 
supper," it is said, " was first administered in Caro 
lina." It was necessary that the minister should be 
ordained in Massachusetts to his work, for " in all 
that country," whither he was going, says Mr. Dan- 
forth, in his valedictory discourse, there was " nei 
ther ordained Minister nor any Church, in full gos 
pel order." He married Abigail, daughter of Gov. 
Thomas Hinckley (by his first wife), on the third of 
June, 1698. 

Mr. Lord remained with his church and society 
over twenty years, when he returned to this State, 



and on the loth of June, 1720, was installed pastor 
of the church in Chatham. He died in 1748, after 
preaching at Chatham twenty-eight years. His diary 
is extant, containing many interesting notes and ob 
servations relative to the church and people at the 
Cape, where he so long ministered. His children 
were Mercy, b. 2 (1) 1699 ; Mary, b. 19 (2) 1701 ; 
Thomas, b. 25 (6) 1703, d. Nov. 1704; Joseph and 
Abigail, b. Sept. 27, 1704 ; Samuel, b. 26 (4) 1707 ; 
Eobert, b. 28 (12) 1711-12; Alice, b. 26 (1) 1714. 

JOHN ROBINSON, born in Dorchester, April 17, 1675, 
was a son of Samuel and Mary (Baker) Robinson, 
Samuel being the eldest son of William, of Dorchester. 
John graduated at Harvard College in 1695, and 
taught the school in D. the next year ; preached at 
New Castle, in Pennsylvania, for a few years ; set 
tled at Duxbury, Mass., on the 13th of November, 
1702, as successor to Rev. Ichabod Wiswall, whose 
daughter Hannah he married, January 31, 1705. 
They had three sons and five daughters, viz. : Mary, 
Hannah, Althea, Elizabeth, Samuel, John, Ichabod 
and Faith. The latter married the elder Gov. Jona 
than Trumbull, of Conn. On the 22d September, 
1722, Mr. Robinson lost his wife, and eldest daugh 
ter Mary, who was then in her 17th year. Mrs. R. 
and daughter being desirous of making a visit to 
Boston, took passage for that city in a coaster, in 
company with Mr. Thomas Fish, of Duxbury, a 
graduate of Harvard College in the class of 1719. 
When off Nantasket beach there came up suddenly 
a tempest ; the vessel upset, and all on board were 


drowned. Mrs. R. was in her 42d year. The body 
of the daughter was soon recovered that of the 
mother, about six weeks afterwards. On the body 
of the latter was found a golden necklace, which is 
said to be in the possession of her descendants. 

Mr. E. continued pastor of the church in Dux- 
bury till November, 1738. He died at Lebanon, 
Conn., at the residence of his son-in-law, Gov. Trum- 
bull, on the 14th of November, 1745, aged 70 years. 
A granite monument has been recently erected in the 
cemetery of Lebanon, at an expense of nearly $2000, 
to the memory of Mr. Robinson and his descendants 
there interred.* 

JOHN SWIFT, son of Thomas and Elizabeth, and 
grandson of Thomas Swift, was born in Milton, 
March 14th, 1678-79 ; taught the school for a short 
time in 1696 ; graduated at Harvard College in 1697 
and was the first minister in Framingham, where 
he was ordained October 8th, 1701. He soon after 
married Sarah, daughter of Timothy and Sarah Tile- 
ston, of Dorchester, by whom he had six children. 
His only son, John (H. C. 1733), was a minister at 
Acton. John, the father, died at F. on the 24th of 
April, 1745, in the 67th year of his age. There is 
a Latin inscription on his monument, in the burial 
ground at Framingham, a copy of which, with a 
translation, may be found in Barber s " Massachu 
setts," p. 389.f 

* See Gen. Reg., vol. 9, p. 339 ; vol. 11, p. 56. 

t See Barry s "Framingham," pp. 105113,414,415. 


Ei CHARD BILLINGS, son of Ebenezer and Hannah 
Billings, and grandson of Roger, of Dorchester, was 
born in D., September 21st, 1675 ; graduated at Har 
vard College, 1698 ; taught the school the same 
year, and, probably, during parts of the two years 

On the 1st of November, 1704, William Pabodie 
and Thomas Gray, of Saconet, alias Little Compton, 
R I., wrote to Rev. Peter Thacher and Rev. John 
Danforth, who, previous to this, had preached to 
the people of that town, and they with others on 
the 29th of the same month ordained Mr. Billings 
as pastor of the church. Ten other members signed 
the church covenant. 

Mr. B. was a facetious companion, spent much of 
his time among his parishioners, and, being fond of 
medical studies, ministered to their bodily as well as 
spiritual health. 

The Sogkonate Indians, whose squaw sachem was 
Awashonks, were so numerous in the town of Little 
Compton, and so orderly disposed, as to have a meet 
ing-house of their own, in which Mr. Billings in 
structed them once a month on Sunday.f 

The records of the church give us no information, 
it is said, as to the time of Mr. Billings s death. 
From another source we learn that he died the 20th 
of November, 1748. 

SAMUEL WISWALL, son of Enoch, and grandson of 
Elder Thomas Wiswall, of Dorchester, was baptized 

t Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. 9, pp. 204, 206. 


September 21st, 1679; graduated at Harvard Col 
lege in 1701. About this time he taught the school ; 
afterwards he preached occasionally, as opportunity 
offered, having first received encouragement from an 
association of divines, to whom he had offered him 
self for examination. He subsequently embarked 
as chaplain on board of a ship. They were unfor 
tunately taken captive, on the voyage, by the Span 
iards, and carried into Martinico, where he experi 
enced a severe sickness ; but, recovering therefrom, 
returned soon after to his native land. He preached 
at various places, and in a manner acceptable to the 
people. He was a minister at Nantucket for about 
six months, and went from thence to Edgartown, 
where he was invited to settle as an assistant to the 
Rev. Jonathan Dunham. He was ordained pastor 
of the church in Edgartown in 1713, and continued 
there as a faithful and devoted preacher, till his sud 
den death, on the 23d of December, 1746. 

His physical infirmities increased during his last 
days, and his labors being disproportioned to his 
strength, hastened his dissolution. He exerted him 
self till the end, having been in his study the day 
before his decease. He was never married.* 

ELIJAH DANFORTH, son of Rev. John and Eliza- - 
beth (Minot) Danforth, of Dorchester, grandson 
of Samuel and Mary (Wilson) Danforth, and great- 
grandson of Nicholas, of Framlingham, County of 
Suffolk, England was born in Dorchester the 30th 

* See Mass. Hist. Coll. 



of November, 1683 (bap. 2 Dec.), graduated at Har 
vard College in 1703. He was probably a teacher 
in town for a short time in 1706 ; for in the ac 
counts made up to December 2d of that year, is the 
following : " Paid to Mr. Danforth, schoolmaster, 
15." " He was a physician at Castle William 
(now Fort Independence), and died the 8th of Octo 
ber, 1736, aged 53."* 

In his will, dated the 5th of March, 1735, proved 
the 22d of February, 1736-7, he mentions his 
" neice Elizabeth, daughter of my brother Thomas 
Danforth, late of Paramaribo in Surinam," also " my 
brother Samuel," who was his executor " my sister 
Elizabeth Lowder," and "my sister Hannah Dun- 

The following is a clause from Mr. Danforth s 
will : " I give unto the Deacons of the church in 
Dorchester, and their successors in said office, for the 
only Use & Service of the Lord s Table in the Con 
gregational Church in said Dorchester, my large Sil 
ver Tankard, to be changed in the form of it, at y e 
discretion of the said Deacons, into convenient ves- 
sells for the service aforesaid." " This Will was wit 
nessed by Ebenezer Clap, John Maxfield, Jr., and 
Huldah Niles. The first two made oath that they 
did not see the will defaced at the time of the Exe 
cution thereof, and Huldah Niles made Oath that 
the clause relating to the large Silver Tankard she 
saw the executor deface some time after the Execu 
tion thereof, by Order and direction of y e Testator. 

* Hist, and Gen. Reg., vol. 7, p. 318. 


Nevertheless I allow said article to stand in said 
Will as if no defacement had been made. J. WIL- 
LARD,"* Judge of Probate. 

This tankard is still in possession of the First 
Church in Dorchester. 

PETER THACHER. son of Eev. Peter and Theodora 
(Oxenbridge) Thacher, of Milton (grandson of 
Thomas, of Weymouth, who was subsequently the 
first minister of the Old South Church, Boston, and 
great-grandson of Peter, a Puritan minister of Salis 
bury, England), was born in Milton the 6th of Oc 
tober, 1688, graduated at Harvard College in 1706, 
in his eighteenth year taught school probably in 
D. about one quarter of that year, for which he re 
ceived 8. On the 1st of December, 1707, 30 
more had been paid him for keeping school. Some 
two months previous to this date, however, he had 
commenced preaching in Middleborough. He was 
chosen pastor the 30th of June, 1708, and was or 
dained there the 2d of November, 1709. On the 
25th of January, 1711, he married Mary, daughter 
of Samuel Prince, Esq., then of Eochester. She 
was a sister of Eev. Thomas Prince, of the Old South 
Church, in Boston. By this union, Mr. Thacher 
had ten children Peter, Oxenbridge, Samuel, John, 
Thomas, Mary, Susannah, Mercy, Theodora and 
Moses. Peter, their eldest, was a graduate of Har 
vard College in 1737, and the first minister of the 
church in Attleborough. He was ordained there in 
174:8, and was the pastor for forty years. 

* Suffolk Probate Records, Lib. 33, fol. 32. 



Rev. Peter, of Middleborough, died on the 22d of 
April, 1744. His widow died in 1771, at the age 
of 84 * 

EBENEZER DEVOTION was born in Brooldine, about 
1684, graduated at Harvard College in 1707, taught 
the school in 1709. He was ordained minister at 
Suffield, Conn., the 28th of June, 1710 (succeeding 
Rev. Benjamin Ruggles, ordained in May, 1698, 
and died the 5th of Sept., 1708). The town of Suf 
field was at that time under the jurisdiction of Mas 

On the 4th of October, 1710, Mr. Devotion mar 
ried Hannah (born the 17th of Feb., 1688), daugh 
ter of Capt. John and Susannah Breck, of Dorches 
ter. They had a son, Ebenezer, who graduated at 
Yale College in 1732; was ordained at Scotland, 
"Windham County, Conn., the 22d of October, 1735, 
and died there the 16th of July, 1771, aged 57 years. 
Ebenezer, the second, married Martha Lathrop (who 
was the sixth in descent from Rev. John Lathrop, 
of Scituate, who died in 1653). They had one son 
and five daughters ; among them, Martha, who mar 
ried Gov. Samuel Huntington ; Hannah, who mar 
ried Rev. Samuel Huntington, D.D. ; Lucy, who 
married Dr. Joseph Baker, of Brooklyn, Conn. 
Their youngest daughter, Sarah Jane (Mrs. Lippin- 
cott), is favorably known to the reading public 
under the cognomen of " Grace Greenwood." Eben 
ezer graduated at Yale College in 1759, was a Judge, 

* See Hist. First Church in Middleborough, p. 35. 


&c. Samuel H., son of Ebenezer, and great-grand 
son of the subject of this notice, graduated at Yale 
College in 1806 * 

Rev. Ebenezer Devotion, the teacher, died in Suf- 
field the llth of April, 1741, aged 57 years. 

SAMUEL FISKE, son of Rev. Moses Fiske, of 
Braintree, and grandson of Rev. John Fiske, the first 
minister of Wenham and Chelmsford, was born in 
Braintree, April the 6th, 1689. His mother was 
Sarah Symmes, a daughter of Mr. William Symmes, 
of Charlestown. Samuel graduated at Harvard Col 
lege in 1708 taught the school in 1710 and 11; 
was chosen minister of Hingham the llth of Feb 
ruary, 1716-17, as successor to the Rev. Mr. Norton, 
but did not accept the invitation ; was ordained over 
the First Church in Salem the 8th of October, 1718, 
afterwards became minister of the Third Church in 
Salem. He died there the 7th of April, 1770, 
aged 81. "He preached the first Century Lecture 
of the First Church, August 6th, 1729. The Gen 
eral Election Sermon delivered by him, in 1731, was 
published, and may be ranked among the best. His 
wife was Anna Gerrish. The late Gen. John Fisk, 
a gentleman of much distinction in Salem, was his 
son." t 

* Letter from A. Woodward, M.D., of Franklin, Conn. 

t See Appendix to Rev. Mr. Morison s Sermon at the Installation of 
Rev. George W. Briggs, p. 49 ; Rev. Mr. Lunt s Bi-Centennial Dis 
course at Quincy. 


EBENEZER WHITE son of James White, of Dor 
chester, and grandson of Edward, who came from 
England was born in Dorchester the 3d of July, 
1685 ; graduated at Harvard College in 1704. He 
was employed soon after to teach school in Wey- 
mouth, as we learn from the records of that town 
" 19 Jan. 1704-5, agreed with Mr. Eben r White, of 
Dorchester, to Teach schooll in Weymouth for half 
a year, begining the 22 Day of Jan. 1704-5, and to 
pay the said Scoolmaster 15 Ibs. for his seruice the 
half year aboue sd." 

On the 28th of July, 1710, the church in At tie- 
borough chose Mr. W. for their minister, provided 
" he will stay with us." Mr. White did not accept the 
invitation at that time, to become their pastor, yet 
he preached for them nearly a year. 

In 1711, and the four subsequent years, he taught 
the school in Dorchester. On the 18th of July, 
1715, he was again chosen by the church in Attle- 
borough to be their minister, and was ordained their 
second pastor on the 17th of October, 1716. 

He married Abigail Paine, and had children 
Hannah, Martha, Edward, Experience, Thankful, 
and two others who died in infancy. Mr. White 
was connected with the church in Attleborough as 
their minister, until his death, which occurred on 
the 4th of September, 1726.* 

SAMUEL DANFORTH, son of Rev. John, of Dor 
chester, was baptized in D. the 15th of November, 

* Daggett s Attleborough, p. 55. 


1696. He was a brother of Dr. Elijah Danforth, 
before mentioned. Besides these two, Rev. John 
had also a son John, horn the 26th of January, 1688, 
who died the 2d of March, 1728 a son Thomas, 
who died at Surinam, the 18th of October, 1714 
a daughter Mehetabel, born in 1699, who died the 
1st of May, 1727. There were, probably, other chil 

Samuel graduated at Harvard College in 1715, 
and taught school in Dorchester soon after. In the 
town s account for 1718, it is stated: "Paid at 
sundry times to Mr. Samuel Danforth, for keeping 
school, 60." He was afterwards made President of 
His Majesty s Council for the Province of Massa 
chusetts Bay, in New England, which office he held 
several years. He was a Judge of the Probate 
Court and of the Court of Common Pleas for the 
County of Middlesex, and was named a Mandamus 
Counsellor in 1774. He had taken his oath for the 
performance of the duties of the last mentioned 
office, but " the popular clamor obliged him (jointly 
with his fellow townsmen, Judge Lee and Thomas 
Oliver, to whom a similar compliment had been ex 
tended) publicly to relinquish" it, which he did 
" from the steps of the old Court House in Cam 
bridge, in presence of a large concourse of people, 
who had gathered for the purpose of receiving their 
recantation." Judge Danforth " retained his seat 
upon the Bench until the Revolution, a period of 
thirty-four years." He died at Cambridge, the 27th 

* See the notice of Elijah Danforth on a previous page. 


of October, 1777, aged 81 years. His wife, Mrs. 
Elizabeth (Symrnes) Danforth, died on the 13th of 
January, 1775, aged 67 years. They had children 
Samuel, Thomas and Elizabeth.* 

DANIEL WITHAM was born in Gloucester, " Au 
gust 30th, 1700. His father, Thomas W., was a son 
of Henry Witham, who, I suppose, was a son of 
Thomas Witham, who died in 1653. His mother 
was Abigail Babson, daughter of James Babson." 
He graduated at Harvard College in 1718. 

The first notice of him in Gloucester, after this, 
is in 1726, when he engaged " to keep a school for 
one year, for 60." He probably taught in Dor 
chester previous to 1724. " In 1732, he was chosen 
Selectman [of Gloucester], an office which he sub 
sequently filled thirty-six years. In 1734 he became 
town clerk, and was elected to the same place every 
year till 1775. He certainly practised medicine in 
town, though history and tradition are both silent 
concerning his professional career. The written 
testimony of his ability and usefulness as a citizen, 
however, is both ample and conclusive. He began 
early in life to take an active part in the public 
business of the town, and gained a popularity which 
he enjoyed to the end of his days. Besides the per 
manent offices which he filled for so many years, he 
was frequently called upon to serve in others of tem 
porary, and of less important character. Being 

* For a fuller account of these, and other members of the family, 
see Hist, and Gen. Reg. for 1853, pp. 315321. 


qualified by education, experience in public affairs, 
and interest in the general welfare, his services were 
often in requisition in the preparation of resolves 
and addresses to give expression to the sentiments 
of the people during the anxious and exciting peri 
od that immediately preceded the revolutionary 
war ; and no doubt can be entertained that he 
fully shared the patriotic indignation with which 
the oppressions of the mother country filled the 
breasts of his townsmen. The date of Dr. Witham s 
death is unknown, but it occurred about 1776. His 
wife was Lydia Saunders, whom he married January 
7th, 1735. They had twelve children, but two of 
whom lived to mature years. Of these, Thomas died 
at Bayonne, whither he was carried a prisoner, July, 
1757, aged 19 ; and Daniel, the only one that sur 
vived his father, was a tailor in his native town, and 
died in 18U."* 

ISAAC BILLINGS, of Milton, born in Dorchester 
the 9th of July, 1703, was the twelfth child of Ro 
ger and Sarah (Paine) Billings, who were married 
the 22d of January, 1678. She was the daughter of 
Stephen and Hannah Paine, of Braintree. Roger 
Billings was the son of Roger and Hannah, and a 
cousin of Rev. Richard Billings (teacher in 1698) 
before mentioned. 

Isaac graduated at Harvard College in 1724, and 
taught the school the same year. In 1737 or 38, 

* The above is a communication from John J. Babson, Esq., of 
Gloucester, who has in preparation a.history of that town. 


he married Beulah Vose, of Milton, where he spent 
the residue of his days. They had four children 
Sarah, Elizabeth, Ruth, Abigail.* 

PHILLIPS PAYSON, son of Samuel and Mary Payson, 
was born in Dorchester, the 29th of Feb., 17(H-5.f 
He graduated at Harvard College in 172, and 
taught the school probably the next year. In 1727, 
the Selectmen agree with him to keep the school for 
one year, " for y e sum of 10 and y e Income of y e 
Money Mr. Stoughton gave for y e Benefit of y e 

In 1729, he was one of the three candidates for 
the office of colleague with Rev. Mr. Danforth, of 
Dorchester Mr. Bowman being, as is well known, 
the successful one. (See p. 296.) 

Mr. P. was afterwards settled as the first minister 
in Walpole. The date of his ordination has been 
given incorrectly, in one instance, as occurring in 
the year 1728. The following, furnished by Rev. 
John M. Merrick, the present pastor of the church, 
settles the question. " The Records of our Church," 
he writes, " have an entry beginning thus: I, Phil 
lips Payson, was ordained, &c. Sept. 16th, 1730. " 

He married Anne Swift (b. July 5, 1706), daugh 
ter of Rev. John Swift, of Framingham, December 

* See Thayer s Family Memorial. 

t The Dorchester Town Records read : " Phillips, son of Samuel and 
Mary Parson, born Feb. 29, 1704." There are two other instances in 
the same book, where this name appears to have been incorrectly writ 
ten Parson. 


5th, 1733. (Her sister Elizabeth m. Rev. James 
Stone, of Holliston, in 1731.*) " How many child 
ren he had," continues Mr. M., " I cannot tell ; more, 
I believe, than are recorded here. I can find only 
Mary, b. Nov. 22cl, 1734, d. Feb. 10, 1735 ; Phil 
lips, b. Jan. 18, 1736 ; Samuel, b. April 26, 1738; 
George, b. Dec. 27, 1741, d. Jan. 31, 1742 ; George, 
b. May 24, 1744; John, b. Jan. 6, 1746; Seth, b. 
Sept. 30, 1758.f Mr. Payson died January 22d, 
1778," having been in the ministry there more than 
forty-seven years. 

Mr. Merrick further writes : "I hardly ever knew 
a man occupying a public place so long, of whom 
so little was known. There are no traditions extant 
of his manners, appearance, or mode of preaching. 
The house in which he lived is still occupied, pretty 
much in form and looks as it might have been a half 
century or more ago." 

Four of his sons were settled ministers, viz. : 
Phillips, who graduated at Harvard College in 1754, 
was ordained at Chelsea the 26th of October, 1757, 
died the llth of January, 1801 ; Samuel, who gra 
duated at Harvard College in 1758, was ordained at 
Lunenburg in September, 1762, but died of an 
atrophy in February, 1763, aged 24;$ John, who 
graduated at Harvard College in 1764, was ordained 
at Fitchburg, as their first minister, the 27th of Jan- 

* See Barry s " Framingham," p. 415. 

t As there is a wide interval between the births of the last two child 
ren, Seth may have been the son of a second wife. 

I The town of Lunenburg " voted to give to Miss Elizabeth Stearns 
(affianced to Rev. Mr. Payson) a neat, handsome suit of mourning." 



uary, 1768, died the 18th of May, 1804; Seth, who 
graduated .at Harvard College in 1777, was ordained 
at Rindge, N. EL, the 4th of December, 1782, died 
the 26th of February, 1820 the father of Rev. Ed 
ward Payson, D.D., minister of Portland, who was 
born the 25th of July, 1783, graduated at Harvard 
College in 1803, was ordained the 16th of Decem 
ber, 1807, died 22d of October, 1827, Two of the 
above sons of Phillips Payson, Sen., viz., Phillips 
and Seth, had the degree of D.D. conferred on them. 

SAMUEL MOSELEY, son of Ebenezer and Hannah, 
was born in Dorchester the 15th of August, 1708; 
graduated at Harvard College in 1729; taught the 
school the same year for 50 55. ; was ordained the 
second pastor of the church in Windham Village, 
now Hampton, Conn. ; was successor of the Rev. 
William Billings, whose widow, Bethiali (Otis) Bil 
lings, he married the 4th of July, 1734. She died 
the 29th of May, 1750. Their children were Eli 
zabeth, Samuel, Ebenezer, Mary, John. His^second 
wife was Mrs. Mary Gaylord, whom he married the 
1st of April, 1752. Their children were William, 
Abigail, William, Elizabeth, Sarah. 

Ebenezer, father of Rev. Samuel (born the 4th of 
September, 1673), was a son of Thomas and Mary 
(Lawrence) Moseley, who were married the 28th of 
October, 1658. She was a daughter of Thomas 
Lawrence, of Hingham. 

Rev. Samuel Moseley died in Hampton, Conn., 
the 26th of July, 1791, in the 83d year of his age, 


and the 57th of his ministry, after a" painful confine 
ment of nine years from a paralytic shock. 

Kev. James Cogswell, D. D., of Windham, 
preached a discourse at the funeral of Mr. Moseley, 
from Rev. iv. 17.* 

SUPPLY CLAP, son of Samuel and Mary (Paul) 
Clap, was born in Dorchester the 1st of June, 1711 ; 
graduated at Harvard College in 1731. In his diary 
he says, "July 19, 1733, I began my third year to 
keep school." His salary, this season, was 55 15s. 
"Feb. 13, 1734. Tailer and Clap kept school for 


He commenced preaching the 20th of May, 1733, 
and was admitted to the church in Dorchester the 
following August. His first sermon was preached 
at the Castle (where his great-grandfather, Roger 
Clap, once commanded), as were also the most of 
those that he preached that year. In 1734, he 
preached at Roxbury three months, from March 31st 
to June 30th, inclusive. On the 15th of December, 

1734, he commenced as a candidate at Woburn, 
second parish, now Burlington, and on the follow 
ing March received a call to settle with them as their 
minister. This call was accepted, at first, " upon 
conditions; " afterwards in full, the 25th of August, 

1735. He was ordained, as the first minister of 
Burlington, on the 29th of October following. 
August llth, 1737, he married Martha Fowle, 

* See N. E. Hist, and Gen. Reg., vol. 7, p. 329 ; Mass. Hist. Coll., 
Tol. 9, p. 186. 


who was a daughter of the then wife of Mr. Sam 
uel Walker, one of the deacons of his church. 
They had three children Martha, Supply and 

Mr. Clap was a man of feeble health ; to benefit 
which, he frequently took short excursions abroad, 
often visiting Dorchester and Boston. He delighted 
to attend the Thursday lecture. On one of these 
occasions he makes a record of the following memo 
rable incident : 

" Sept. 1740. The Eev d Mr. Whitefield, in the 
afternoon at 3 o clock, was to preach at y e New South, 
in Boston. The meeting-house being very much 
crowded, there was suddenly an outcry, as if y e Gal 
lery was falling. I being under said Gallery, hastened 
out, stood at y e door; immediately there was such 
thronging out, that y ey trampled one another under 
feet. Some jumped out of y e Galleries into y e seats 
below, some out of y e Windows. I helped clear the 
way at y e door, till they got so squeezed together in 
y e porch, till I could get no more out. So that I 
with others were forced to cry out to the pressing 
multitude to make way back. After y e space of 5 
or 6 minutes such way was made back, that we could 
help the distressed out. Many were taken up for 
dead, but being blooded chiefly recovered. Three 
died upon y e spot, and two more a day or two after. 
As awful a sight (I think) as ever I beheld. May- 
God sanctify it to me, & the rest of the Spectators. 

6C N. B. The Galleries were afterward examined, 
and there appeared no danger." 


Mr. Clap died the 28th of December, 1747, aged 
36 years, 6 months and 28 days.* 

NOAH CLAP.f He taught the school at various 
times, from 1735 to 1769 some eighteen or twenty 
years in all. His salary in 1735 was 60 ; in 1750 
and 51, 270 old tenor, or 36 lawful money; in 
1767, at the rate of 40 per annum. 

JOSIAH PIERCE was a son of Samuel and Abigail 
Pierce, of that part of Woburn which is now Bur 
lington, where he was born, July 13th, 1708 ; gradu 
ated at Harvard College in 1735 ; taught the school 
about 1738; went to Hadley, in this State, early in 
1743, and was hired .to keep the Grammar and Eng 
lish school in that town the same year was to in 
struct in Latin and Greek, in reading, writing and 
arithmetic. He kept the school in Hadley twelve 
years, from 1743 to 1755 ; and again six years, from 
1760 to 1766. 

During this time, and long after, he preached in 
Hadley, and in various other towns, when the minis 
ter was sick or the pulpit vacant from some other 
cause. Sometimes he supplied a pulpit three or 
four months in succession, but was never settled, and 
probably never had a call to settle. Mr. Pierce was 
esteemed a very good man, and sound in the faith, 
but is said to have been uninteresting as a preacher. 

* Chiefly from material furnished by Rev. Samuel Sewall, of Bur 
f For an account of Mr. Clap, see page 356. 


He was a representative from the town, Justice and 
Town Clerk, and was engaged in farming to some 
extent after the year 1760. He was a good penman, 
accurate in his accounts, and left several inter 
leaved almanacks. Mr. P. was an ardent whig in 
the Ee volution. He married, in 1743, Miriam Cook, 
daughter of Samuel Cook, and sister of Rev. Samuel 
Cook, of West Cambridge. They had six children.* 
Mr. Pierce died the 10th of February, 1788, aged 

PHILIP CURTIS was son of Samuel and Hannah 
Curtis, of Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, where he was 
born, October 4th, 1717. He was admitted into 
Harvard College in July, 1734, and was the first of 
the name in that institution. He took his degree 
in 1738; was admitted into church fellowship, Jan 
uary 6th, 1739 ; studied divinity with Mr. Bowman, 
of Dorchester, and kept school in this town two 
years. He preached his first sermon in StQUghtonj-_ 
ham, now Sharon, in the month of May, 1741, and 
was ordained to the ministry in that place, January 
5th, 1742. His salary was 60 per annum. He 
had the use of a meadow, and was supplied with 
wood. On this slender stipend, with the income of 
a small farm, he brought up a large family, and, dur 
ing the war of the Revolution, liberally educated one 
of his sons. He married Elizabeth Bass, of Dor 
chester, September 6th, 1744. She was a sister of 
the celebrated Bishop Bass, of Newburyport. They 

* Letter from Sylvester Judd, Esq., of Northampton. 


had six children. His wife died May 24th, 1752, 
aged 32 years. He married Elizabeth Randall, of 
Sharon, October 31st, 1754; by this connection 
there were five sons. As Mr. Curtis taught his own 
children, he opened a school, gratuitously, for the 
children of his parishioners, and occasionally fitted 
scholars for the College. The children of Commo 
dore Loring (who married his sister) were all edu 
cated by him. The late Christopher Gore, Esq., was, 
also his pupil. After the war, his people purposed 
to build a new church, but their means were insuffi 
cient. He contributed his mite to their help, by 
giving up one quarter s salary. He also gave an 
acre of land through the middle of his farm, to ac 
commodate them with a nearer road to the meeting. 
His sight was remarkably clear, so that he never 
wore glasses. He preached till a few months 
before his decease, which event occurred November 
22d, 1797, in his 81st year. During his ministry, 
Mr. Curtis baptized 926 persons, and married 315 
couple. There were 403 deaths in his parish, and 
264 were added to the church. Elizabeth Curtis, 
his second wife, died at Sharon, March llth, 1823, 
at the advanced age of 91 years. Three of his sons 
served in the war of the Revolution. His eldest son, 
Samuel, was a surgeon on board of a privateer called 
the Boston, commanded by Capt. Manly. This ves 
sel was captured by the British in 1777. Philip, 
another son, was stationed at West Point. He serv 
ed one year under the immediate command of Col. 
Kosciuszko. Being a wheelwright by trade, it was 
his particular business to repair carriages, though 


he was first engaged, with most of his company, 
in making a bomb-proof barrack, on Fort Putnam. 
They had a large pair of wheels, seven feet in height, 
by which they hoisted the cannon into the fort, and 
when Arnold the traitor was there, he dismounted 
them down upon the flats.* 

THOMAS JONES, son of Ebenezer and Waitstill 
Jones, was born at Dorchester the 20th of April, 
1721 ; graduated at Harvard College in 1741 ; taught 
the school this year for the first quarter at the rate 
of 85 per annum, for the next three months at the 
rate of 95, probably old tenor money ; he taught 
also in 1742. He was ordained as second pastor of the 
church in Burlington (then a precinct of Woburn) 
the 2d of January, 1751. Kev. Supply Clap was his 
predecessor. Mr. Jones married Miss Abigail Wis- 
wall, of Dorchester, September 5th, 1751, by whom 
he had three children, viz. Lucy, afterwards 
wife of Rev. Joseph Lee, of Royalston ; Martha, 
wife of his successor, Rev. John Marrett, and mother 
of the wife of Rev. Samuel Sewall, who is a succes 
sor to Mr. M. and the fourth minister of Burlington ; 
Mary, who married Mr. Edward Walker, of B., and 
was the mother of Lois Wiswall Walker, wife of her 
mother s cousin, John Flavel Pierce, of Dorchester. 

Mr. Jones died suddenly in an apoplectic fit, the 
13th of March, 1774. " He was seized with this his 
last illness that morning in the midst of divine ser 
vice, in the meeting-house, conveyed home, and there 

* From a communication by Miss Catharine P. Curtis, of Jamaica 


died at the going down of the sun, much lamented 
by his people." His widow was living at the time of 
the ordination of Rev. Mr. Sewall (13th of April, 
1814), but* died a few weeks after, at the ripe age 
of 90, in consequence of a fall she had on the 12th 
of that month. 

" The house I live in," says the last mentioned 
clergyman, in 1857, "was purchased by Mr. Jones 
soon after his ordination was his dwelling while 
he lived the abode of his widow till her decease, 
and also of her son and daughter Marrett ; so that 
it has been a ministerial abode above a century. And 
it is a memorable house, as the place of refuge to 
Hancock and Samuel Adams on the 19th of April, 

EDWARD BASS, son of Joseph and Elizabeth 
(Breck) Bass, of Dorchester, and great-great-grand 
son of Samuel and Ann Bass, of Roxbury, was born in 
Dorchester, Nov. 23d, 1726. He entered Harvard 
College at the early age of thirteen, and graduated 
in 1744. From the time of taking his first degree 
till he received that of Master of Arts, he was en 
gaged in keeping school a part of the time in Dor 
chester and also occupied himself in such studies 
as would qualify him for his contemplated profes 
sion. From 1747 to 1751, he resided at the College, 
making progress in theological studies and occasion 
ally supplying vacant pulpits in the Congregational 
churches. In 1751, he was chosen assistant minis- 

Letter from Rev. Samuel Sewall. 


ter of St. Paul s Church (Episcopal) in Newbury- 
port, and in 1752 went to England, where, on the 
24th of May, of the same year, he was ordained by 
Dr. Thomas Sherlock, then Bishop of London. 
In the autumn of the same year, he returned to New 
England, and soon after took charge of the church 
in Newbury, at that time vacant by the death of 
Rev. Matthias Plant. He married Sarah Beck, Sep 
tember 19th, 1754. She died on the 9th of May, 
1789. In July of that year, the University of Penn 
sylvania conferred on him the degree of Doctor of 
Divinity. On the 18th of November following 
(1789), he married Mercy Phillips, who died, his 
widow, January loth, 1842, in her 87th year. In 
1796, he was elected the first bishop of Massachu 
setts, and was consecrated to that office in Christ 
Church, Philadelphia, the 7th of May, 1797, by the 
bishops of the Episcopal churches in Pennsylvania, 
New York and Maryland. The Episcopal churches 
of Rhode Island afterwards elected him as their 
bishop, as did those also of New Hampshire, in 1.803, 
the year of his decease. He died on the 10th of 
September, aged 77, after an illness of but two days. 
He was a man of profound knowledge, accomplished 
and exemplary. He was also noted for his good 
humor and wit. The following anecdotes have been 
related of him. At the time of his second marriage 
he was 63 years of age ; his wife Mercy was 34. 
Some of his people expressed their astonishment at 
his marrying so young a woman. The bishop re 
plied, " I will have Mercy and not sacrifice." When 
asked why he did not settle in his native town, he 


answered, facetiously, that " the waters of Dorches 
ter were not deep enough for a bass to swim in, and 
therefore he came to the Merrimac." He had no 

JAMES HUMPHREY, son of Jonas, who was the son 
of Hopestill, the son of Elder James, the son of 
Jonas Humphrey, was born in Dorchester the 20th 
of March, 1722; graduated at Harvard College in 
1744 ; taught the school in 1748 ; and was ordained 
the first minister of Pequoiag, now Athol, Novem 
ber 7th, 1750. On the 9th of November, 1751, 
he married Esther Wiswall, of Dorchester, " a lady 
of high respectability and much energy of charac 
ter," who lived to an advanced age, respected and 
beloved by the people of Athol. Mr. Humphrey 
commenced his labors at that place under very try 
ing circumstances. Being a frontier town, it was 
greatly exposed to the incursions of the Indians. It 
was necessary to station sentinels at the entrance of 
the church, on the Sabbath, to avoid a surprise from 
" their devouring enemy, whilst others were wor 
shipping God within."* For three successive years 
" did the first minister of Pequoiag carry his wea 
pons of defence into his pulpit, and preach with his 
gun by his side."f After having served the church 
and people of Athol faithfully upwards of thirty-one 
years, at his own request he was dismissed, Febru- 

* Mr. Humphrey s MS., quoted in Rev. S. F. Clarke s Centennial Dis 
course, preached at Athol, Sept. 9th, 1850. 
f Clarke s Discourse. 


ary 13th, 1782. He remained, however, in the 
town till the time of his decease, which took place 
on the 8th of May, 1796, in the 75th year of his 
age. His widow died on the 8th of March, 1822, 
aged 94. 

PELATIAH GLOVER, son of Nathaniel Glover, Jr. 
and Rachel (Marsh), was born in Dorchester, April 
2d, 1716 a descendant in a direct line from John 
Glover. He married Mary Crehore in June, 1740. 
They had two daughters, one of whom (Rachel) mar 
ried William Blake, of Boston, the 29th of Novem 
ber, 1767. Mr. Lemuel Blake, of Boston, son of 
William and Rachel, is the only descendant now 
(1858) living, having attained the age of 83 years. 
In 1756, the subject of this notice was appointed 
by the town of Dorchester to keep school for 
" Squantum and the Farms." Possibly he may have 
taught at other times and places not designated by 
our record. He is said to have been a suttler to the 
army, and furnished from his own store provisions 
for the soldiers in the French war, which was de 
clared in the year 1756. He died in Dorchester, of 
lung fever, April 3d, 1770, aged 54.* 

JAMES BAKER, of the fourth generation from 
Richard and Faith Baker, was the son of James and 
Priscilla Baker, born at Dorchester, September 5th, 
1739. The traits of mind and character which he 

* From material furnished by Miss Anna Glover, of Dorchester, 
who has collected much information relative to the Glover family. 


displayed in youth, induced his parents to fit him 
for the ministry. He graduated at Harvard Col 
lege in 1760, and soon after studied divinity with 
the Rev. Jonathan Bowman, the then minister of 
Dorchester, and his future father-in-law. After hav 
ing gone through with the requisite studies, which 
were somewhat retarded by his spending time in 
teaching school, he entered upon the duties of the 
ministry. He soon found that his humility and dif 
fidence prevented him from discharging the duties 
of a minister in a manner satisfactory to himself; 
he therefore abandoned that profession and entered 
upon the study of medicine, keeping schools at in 
tervals until he commenced the practice of medi 
cine. Not fancying the latter calling, he turned his 
attention to merchandise, and followed it for some 
time. Seeing an opening in the chocolate business, 
he gave up store-keeping, and, in 1780, commenced 
the manufacture of chocolate. He established a 
business which has been successfully carried on by 
his descendants for several generations, and connected 
with it a name so favorably known to the present 
day. By strict attention to his affairs, and judicious 
investments in government securities, in a few years 
he acquired a competency, when he retired from 
active business engagements. He married Lydia 
Bowman, the daughter of the minister of Dorchester, 
by whom he had one son and two daughters. At 
the age of sixty, he relinquished his entire business 
to his son Edmund, and spent the evening of his 
days i n reading, meditation, and the practice of those 
Christian virtues which endeared him, and his mem- 


ory, to a large circle of acquaintance. He survived 
his wife about eight years, and died January 2, 1825. 

DANIEL LEEDS, the son of Hopestill and Sarah 
(Clap) Leeds, and a descendant in the fourth gene 
ration from Richard, was born in Dorchester on 
the 28th of May, 1739, and graduated at Harvard 
College in the year 1761. He married Abigail 
Gore, of Roxbury, December 30th, 1762. The 
ceremony was performed at her grandfather s, in 
Cambridge, by the Rev. Mr. Apple ton. They com 
menced housekeeping in a building now standing on 
Bowdoin Street, nearly opposite the residence of 
Nahum Capen, Esq. In this house their son Daniel 
was born. Afterwards, Mr. Leeds moved to the 
Lower Mills village, where it is believed he built a 
house now occupied by Mr. William Bowman. Ten 
of their eleven children were born there, among 
whom was Benjamin Bass Leeds, the father of a 
large and respectable family. " Master Leeds," 
it is said, taught school in town about fifteen years 
probably the most, if not all of that time, on " Meet 
ing-house Hill." He departed this life on Artillery 
Election day, Monday, June 7th, 1790, aged 51 years. 
He attended worship the day previous, in his usual 
health. A disorder in his head occasioned his death. 

WILLIAM BOWMAN, the son of Rev. Jonathan and 
Hannah (Hancock) Bowman, grandson of Joseph 
and Phebe, who was the son of Francis and Martha 
(Sherman) Bowman, the son of Nathaniel and Anne, 
of Watertown, afterwards of Lexington, was born 


Jan. 8th, 1744; graduated at Harvard College in 
1764; taught the school in 1765; was afterwards 
Town Clerk in Roxbury, and a Justice of the Peace. 
He married, June 5th, 1777, Lucy Sumner (born 
June 29th, 1751), daughter of Increase and Sarah 
(Sharp) Sumner, of Roxbury, and sister of Gov. 
Sumner. Mr. Bowman died in Dorchester, March 
21st, 1818. He had three children Jonathan, Wil 
liam and Henry. They all died unmarried. William 
was a captain in Col. Miller s regiment, so distin 
guished in the war of 1812.* 

SAMUEL COOLIDGE, the famous instructor, son of 
Samuel and Ruth (Clarke) Coolidge, and the fourth 
in descent from John, of Watertown, was born in W., 
August 8th, 1751. He graduated at Harvard Col 
lege in 1769, in which year, at the age of eighteen, 
he appears to have commenced teaching school 
in Dorchester. He taught, subsequently, at various 
times, closing in 1789, the year previous to his 
death. He was of the board of Selectmen and 
Assessors ten successive years, from 1780 to 1789, 
inclusive, and for the last four years their chairman ; 
was Town Clerk and Treasurer in 1787 and 88, be 
ing a successful competitor with Noah Clap, who 
for thirty-eight continuous years preceded him in 
both offices, and for ten years succeeded him as Town 
Clerk. Mr. Coolidge was also Treasurer for 1789. 
He was noted for his beautiful penmanship ; was 
distinguished for his abilities as a teacher, and for 

* See Hist, and Gen. Keg., vol. 8, p. 12Sn. 


his high classical attainments. He married Eliza 
beth, daughter of Thomas Tileston, by whom he had 
three children, who died young. He deceased Feb 
ruary 28th, 1790. His widow for some years taught 
a school for small children in the town. On the 6th 
of May, 1802, she married his brother, Col. Moses 
Coolidge, of Water town. She was his fourth wife. 
Moses was the father of Cornelius, a former well- 
known citizen of Dorchester, now deceased.* 

SAMUEL PIERCE, son of Samuel and Abigail (Mose- 
ley), grandson of John and Abigail (Thompson), 
great-grandson of Thomas and Mary (Proctor), great- 
great-grandson of Robert and Ann (Greenway) 
Pierce, was born in Dorchester, March 25th, 1739. 
He married Elizabeth Howe, of Dorchester, October 
24th, 1765. They had five children. He was a 
colonel in the militia, and died June 4th, 1815, 
aged 76. In his diary (see page 363 of this work), 
he says that he began to keep school on the 1st of 
February, 1773, at " 3 5s. per week." 

ONESIPHORUS TILESTON, born in Boston, April 
28th, 1755 ; graduated at Harvard College in 1774 ; 
taught the school about the year 1775 ; died Octo 
ber 6th, 1809. 

thaniel Bobbins, of Milton, was born February 19th, 
1758. His mother was Elizabeth, daughter of 

* See Bond s History of Watertown. 


Judge Edward and Lydia (Foster) Hutchinson. She 
was a descendant, in the fourth generation, from the 
celebrated Mrs. Ann Hutchinson. He graduated at 
Harvard College in 1775 ; married Elizabeth, daugh 
ter of Hon. James Murray, of Boston. They had 
several children, one of whom is the Hon. James 
Murray Robbins, of Milton. Soon after taking his 
degree, Mr. Robbins applied himself to the study of 
the law, with the eminent Oakes Angier, Esq., of 
Bridgewater. Having finished his studies, he com 
menced the practice of his profession in his native 
town. He was chosen a representative from Milton 
in 1781, and Speaker of the Massachusetts House 
of Representatives in 1793, which office he held for 
nine successive years. In 1802, and for some years 
afterwards, he was Lieut. Governor of the State. He 
was subsequently engaged in public business as 
Commissioner of the Land Office ; was one of the 
committee of defence, &c. - He was a member of the 
Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of many other 
useful and benevolent institutions. On the decease 
of Hon. William Heath, in 1814, he was appointed 
Judge of Probate for the County of Norfolk, which 
office he held until his death, which occurred in 
Milton, December 29th, 1829. Hon. Sherman Le- 
land, of Roxbury, his successor, died November 19th, 
1853, and was succeeded by his son, William S. 
Leland, Esq. In the summer of 1858, the law pass 
ed into effect, uniting the Courts of Probate and In 
solvency. Hon. George White, of Quincy, was then 
inducted into the office of Judge of Probate and 
Insolvency for the County of Norfolk. 


OLIVER EVERETT, son of Ebenezer and Joanna 
Everett, of Dedham, was born in that town, June 
llth, 1752 ; graduated at Harvard College in 1779 ; 
taught the school about 1776 ; was ordained pastor 
of the New South Church in Boston (on " Church 
Green," so called), January 2d, 1782, succeeding 
Rev. Joseph Howe, who died August 25th, 1775. 
Mr. Everett was dismissed, on account of ill health, 
May 26th, 1792, "after a ministry of ten years, 
having acquired a high reputation for the extraor 
dinary powers of his mind." His successor was 
Rev. J. T. Kirkland, D.D., ordained February 5th, 
1794. Mr. E. was appointed Judge of the Court of 
Common Pleas in Norfolk County, in 1799, which 
office he held until .his death in Dorchester, Decem 
ber 19th, 1802. It is a singular fact that his elder 
brother Moses, for some years a co temporary in the 
ministerial office (ordained in Dorchester in 1774), 
was compelled, for the same reason, to relinquish 
preaching in 1793, the year following his own resig 
nation, and that, in the year 1808, Moses was ap 
pointed to fill the vacancy on the bench of the Court 
of Common Pleas, occasioned by the death of his 
brother Oliver. 

He married Lucy Hill, of Boston, November 6th, 
1787. She was a daughter of Alexander S. Hill, of 
Philadelphia. Mr. Everett had sons Alexander H., 
Edward, John. (H. C. 1806, 1811, 1818.) Of these 
children, Hon. Edward Everett alone survives. 


AARON SMITH, son of Joseph, was born in Hollis, 
N. H., November 3d, 1756; graduated at Harvard 


College in 1777, about which time he taught the 
school in Dorchester, having tarried a while, it may 
have been, in Sudbury. " He was afterwards mas 
ter of the North Latin School," North Bennet 
Street, Boston, " studied divinity went to the West 
Indies," which is the last information we have of 
him. It is said that he once remarked, " he would 
not return till he had filled his stocking with gold." 

PHILIP DRAPER, son of Timothy and Hannah 
Draper, was born in Dedham, March 2d, 1757; 
graduated at Harvard College in 1780 ; taught one 
of the schools, it is believed, the same year, and for 
some years subsequently ; afterwards practised as a 
physician in South Dedham. He married Mehita- 
bel, daughter of Jeremiah Kingsbury, of Dedham, 
and died March 21st, 1817. They had sons, Jere 
miah and Moses, both graduates of Harvard Col 
lege in 1808. The latter has been for many years a 
respected citizen of Dorchester. Jeremiah died in 

SAMUEL SHUTTLESWORTH, son of Samuel and Abi 
gail (Whiting) Shuttlesworth,* was born in Dedham, 
November 1, 1751 ; graduated at Harvard College in 
1777; was ordained at Windsor, Vt, June 23d, 
1790. After a few years, he left, and entered the 
profession of the law. He married Deborah Ames, 
sister of Fisher Ames, of Dedham, January 1st, 
1792, and died in October, 1834. 

* Married in Dedham, October 8th, 1744, by Rev. Thomas Balch, 
Mr. Samuel Shuttlesworth to Mrs. Abigail Whiting. Dedham Records. 


SAMUEL CHENEY, son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth, 
was born in Eoxbury, March 9th, 1745-6, graduat 
ed at Harvard College in 1767, taught the school in 
Dorchester, and was for some time a teacher in the 
"Eliot School," in Boston. He married Rebecca 
Bliss, of Boston, December 29th, 1790, who is sup 
posed to have been his second wife. He died at 
Harvard, in November, 1820, aged 74. 

JONATHAN BIRD, son of Jonathan, Jr., and Ruth 
Bird, was born in Dorchester, March 30, 1761 ; gra 
duated at Harvard College in 1782, about which 
time he probably commenced teaching school in 
town, in a dwelling-house on the corner of what is 
now Sumner and Cottage Streets, near the " Five Cor 
ners." He married Ann Vincent Woodward, of Bos 
ton, the 18th of February, 1806 was for some 
years a Justice of the Peace for the County of Suf 
folk, and died November 24th, 1809. 

THEOPHILUS CAPEN was son of Dea. Jonathan, 
Jr., and Jerusha (Talbot) Capen, and a descendant 
in the fifth generation from Barnard and Jane. His 
father was born in Dorchester, in a house lately 
standing at the corner of Washington and Bowdoin 
jStreets. Removing early to Stoughton, he there be 
came a large land-owner ; and, before the Revolution, 
was agent, under the Colonial government, for the care 
of the Punkapoag tribe of Indians. Theophilus 
was born in Stoughton, June 5th, 1760, graduated 
at Harvard College in 1782, and married Rachel 
Lambert in 1784. Soon after his graduation, he 


taught the school in Dorchester, but the time thus 
spent by him is uncertain. It was not long, how 
ever, as we find him in Bath, Me., for a while 
previous to 1787, and in that year preceptor, also, of 
a school in Sharon. It was his father s intention 
to educate him for the ministry; and accordingly 
he began to study divinity with Rev. Mr. Adams, 
of Stoughton, and spent much time in the compo 
sition of sermons, &c. This plan was finally relin 
quished, however, on account of the weakness of 
his voice. He again went to Bath, settled there, 
and was many years engaged in trading in that place ; 
also in Vassalborough and Augusta. He removed 
to Pittsford, Vt, in 1811, and resumed his former 
profession as teacher, which was continued for sev 
eral years. In the latter part of his life Mr. C. was 
chiefly engaged in farming. He died in 1842, aged 
82, at Chittenden, Rutland County, Vt., his wife 
having died six weeks previously, in her 76th year. 
One stone points out their graves in the burying- 
ground at Pittsford village, near Chittenden, with 
this inscription following their-names and ages : " In 
their deaths they were not divided." 

Mr. Capen possessed in full the sterling qualities 
which characterized his ancestors and the other early 
settlers of the town of Dorchester, and through 
many vicissitudes during a long life maintained the 
character of a devoted Christian and a good citizen. 

He had eleven children, born in Bath seven 
daughters and four sons all but one of whom 
lived to mature age. Five are now living the old 
est aged 73 ; viz., two daughters in the State of New 


York ; a son and daughter in Vermont, the former 
of whom, Jonathan Capen, Esq., has represented 
the town of Fairhaven in the State Legislature ; and 
a daughter in Maine. His other descendants, as 
recently ascertained, are in number as follows : 
grandchildren, 45 ; great-grandchildren, 66 ; great- 
great-grandchildren, 4. 

DANIEL LEEDS, JR., son of Daniel (one of the 
schoolmasters before mentioned) and Abigail (Gore) 
Leeds, was born in Dorchester, on Monday, May 
7th, 1764 ; graduated at Harvard College in 1783 ; 
taught at different times, and in various parts of the 
town, commencing as early, probably, as 1784. He 
was the first teacher in the school-house built at the 
Lower Mills village, in 1802. One of his pupils 
thus describes this house and its surroundings. " It 
was perhaps 20 feet by 30 a half moon entry 
a dignified desk boys one side (the right, going 
in), girls the other old fashioned seats for one 
and two each a cast-iron wood stove midway the 
aisle, in winter a trap door with a ring to lift, 
to go down cellar for wood abundance of smoke 
sometimes, but none too much fire open front yard 
down to the road, with rocks, apple trees, and path 
ways, as one might say, in primitive state. Here 
was fun, play, and plenty of exercise, and in the 
house, no doubt, some good teaching and scholar 
ship." This building was superseded by the struc 
ture of 1836, and that also by the present house, 
erected in 1856. Mr. Leeds died at the house of 
his brother, in School Street, Boston, August 19th, 
1811. He was unmarried. 


MOSES EVERETT, JR., son of Eev. Moses and 
Lucy (Balch) Everett, was born November 25th, 
1775 ; graduated at Harvard College in 1796 ; 
taught school " on the upper road," in the now 
Gibson School district ; removed to Ohio in or 
about the year 1800, and died at Gallipolis, in that 
State, November 30th, 1814, aged 39. 

Ebenezer, his brother, who graduated at Harvard 
College in 1806, taught school in Dorchester, com 
mencing in the autumn of that year. The school 
in the second district, where he taught, was at that 
time kept for six months, in the cold season, on 
the lower road, now Adams Street, and the re 
mainder of the year in the brick school-house, on 
Meeting-house Hill. 

Rev. Enoch Pratt, Griffin Child, and Hon. Eben 
ezer Everett, are among the few of the early teachers 
who now survive. Mr. Silas Randall, a native of 
Stow, Mass., who graduated at Brown University in 
1804, was the immediate predecessor of the last- 
mentioned Mr. Everett in District No. 2. The con 
temporaries of said Mr. E. were in District No. 1, 
Mr. Nathaniel Clap (H. C. 1805); in Districts 3 and 
4, Messrs. Kingsbury and Child. Charles and Tho 
mas Everett, brothers of Moses Everett, Jr., and 
Ebenezer, were, it is believed, subsequently, for 
short periods, teachers in the brick school-house on 
Meeting-house Hill. 

LEMUEL CRANE, eldest son of Elijah and Sarah 
(Houghton) Crane, was born in Milton, March 18th, 
1757, and, with his parents, removed soon after to 


Canton, then a part of Stoughton. When he was 
about eleven years of age, he went to live in the 
family of Rev. Samuel Dunbar, the minister of that 
parish, and continued there nearly seven years. 
Early in the year 1776 he came to Dorchester was 
a soldier in a company of militia which was detailed 
to guard the troops of Burgoyne, when they were 
prisoners at Cambridge, and was called out on vari 
ous alarms at other times. In the year 1782 he 
bought a tract of land in the westerly part of the 
town, being a portion of the " Dorchester common 
land," sold by the town about that time. He sub 
dued and cultivated a large farm, and attended the 
Boston market, occupying a stall in the westerly cor 
ner of Faneuil Hall building for many years. Mr. 
Crane was very fond of pomological pursuits, and a 
large number of apple trees, now in a thrifty and 
bearing state, remain as monuments of his industry 
and perseverance. The house and a part of the land 
owned by him, is now in possession of Mr. Elihu 
Greenwood. Mr. C. taught the first school estab 
lished in his neighborhood, in winter, from 1790 
to 1797, and occasionally evening schools for ap 
prentices in the paper mill, and other boys, and 
also a singing school, for which he was well quali 
fied. He was a collector of town taxes for the years 
1790 and 1792 selectman and assessor in 1793, 
1803, 4 and 5; assessor, 1807-12; representative 
to the General Court in 1811 was usually one of 
the surveyors of the highways, and a member of the 
school committee of the district. 

He married, first, Martha, daughter of John Minot, 


who died, leaving one daughter, Nancy, now living ; 
secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Dea. Noah Davis, 
of Roxbury. By the latter connection, Mr. Crane 
had six children, four of whom are now living; 
one of these, Nathaniel, contributed the material for 
this sketch. To the same individual we are also 
under obligations for information concerning the 
Butler School (p. 457-460). 

Mr. C. died on the 10th of November, 1817, in 
the 61st year of his age. His widow survived him 
twenty-two years, and died November 4th, 1839, 
aged 71. His father deceased in the year 1780; his 
mother, March 20th, 1819. As an instance of lon 
gevity in the family, it may be mentioned that his 
mother took him one day, when young, to see two 
grandmothers, two great-grandmothers, and - one 

Mr. Crane was modest and unassuming in his de- \ 
portment, firm in his opinions, industrious and en 
terprising in business, conscientious, tolerant and . 
liberal in his religious views, republican in politics, / 
a pleasant friend and an honest man. 

FRANCIS PERRY taught the south school in Dor 
chester, previous to the llth of June, 1791. He 
states, in a letter from Hallowell, Me., of the above 
date, that he is out of health has had but 45 
salary in Dorchester that his expenses were 19 
105. for board, and for clothing 12 leaving him 
only 13^. Wd. He would like to renew his services 
as teacher in town, but wishes the compensation in 
creased to 56. 


JOSEPH GARDNER ANDREWS, born in Boston, Feb 
ruary 7th, 1768, graduated at Harvard College in 
1785. He was a physician. In a letter, written 
May 16th, 1792, to Ebenezer Tolman, one of the 
Selectmen of Dorchester, he says, " By reason of 
an appointment in the Federal army, I shall be 
necessitated to give up the school in the course of a 
few weeks ; " but requests " a dismission this day." 
The time of his decease has not been ascertained by 
the writer. His name is first starred in the trien 
nial catalogue for 1827. 

SAMUEL TOPLIFF, son of Deacon Samuel and 
Mary (Hall) Topliff, was born in Dorchester, Sep 
tember 19th, 1770; graduated at Harvard College 
in 1795 ; taught school about 1793 ; was for a time 
a merchant in Eastport, Me. ; removed afterwards 
to Princeton, 111., and died in Detroit, Michigan, 
September 5th, 1845, aged 75. We are indebted to 
Joseph Palmer, M.D., of Boston (H. C. 1820), who 
has kindly furnished information in relation to other 
individuals, for the following notice of Mr. Topliff. 
" The Buffalo Commercial Advertiser of Monday, 
September 8th, 1845, gives an account of a storm on 
Lake Erie, on the Friday and Saturday previous, and 
after stating that several vessels were damaged, adds 
the following: By the boats from the West, we 
can gather nothing of importance in regard to ves 
sels, except the sinking of the steamer New Orleans, 
Capt. Brundage, in the Detroit river, a short distance 
from Maiden. The New Orleans was bound for 
Chicago, and had a full complement of passengers. 


The steamer London took part of the passengers to 
Detroit. One old man, from Illinois or Wisconsin, 
who was in feeble health, died before reaching De 
troit, supposed from fright and anxiety. He had 
some $10,000 worth of goods on board the boat. 

" The same paper (Buffalo Commercial), of Sep 
tember llth, says: The old gentleman, who had 
goods on board the New Orleans, and who died after 
arriving at Detroit, was named Samuel Topliff His 
age was 60 years. 

" The Detroit Daily Advertiser, of Monday, Sep 
tember 8th, 1845, says: A stranger, named Samuel 
Topliff, who had been taken on the London from 
the New Orleans, after her accident on Friday, died 
in this city on the evening of that day. The ver 
dict of the coroner s jury was, that he came to his 
death from over-exertion, general debility and old 
age. The deceased was supposed to be about 60 
years old. He was carefully attended during his 
brief illness, and his remains decently interred on 
Saturday afternoon funeral services by the Kev. 
Dr. Duffield, at the Presbyterian Church. 

" There is a mistake in the above papers as to his 
age, which is stated, v from conjecture, at 60. He 
was 75." 

SAMUEL VEAZIE was born in Braintree, June 3d, 
1779; graduated at Harvard College in 1800. He 
succeeded James Blake Howe in the school, District 
No. 2; was ordained at Freeport, Me., December 
10th, 1806, as successor to Rev. Alfred Johnson. 
The ordination sermon was preached by Rev. John 


Foster, D.D., of Brighton. He married Phebe Bar- 
tol, of Freeport, September 1, 1808. They had no 
children. " In less than two years Mr. Veazie s 
health began to decline, and he was soon found to 
be in a settled consumption." 

" The circumstances of his death were peculiarly 
distressing. On the night of February 5th, 1809, 
while confined to his chamber in the house of Mrs. 
Veazie s mother, and supposed to be near his disso 
lution, the lower part of the house was discovered 
to be in flames. He was with difficulty removed to 
the house of Mr. Bartol, his brother-in-law, in one 
of the most severe snow storms known for many 
years. The exposure was thought to have accele 
rated his exit, which took place the next day," in 
the 30th year of his age.* 

Mrs. Veazie was again married, September 1st, 
1824, to the Rev. Charles Soule, of Belfast, Me., 
now of Amherst, in that State. She is still living. 

EDWARD HOLDEN, son of Samuel and Hannah 
(Kelton) Holden, was born at Dorchester, August 
30, 1769 ; married Anna Payson, daughter of Sam 
uel and Anna (Robinson) Payson, of Dorchester, 
July 31, 1791. He taught arschool at Milton in his 
early manhood ; removed to Dorchester Lower Mills 
about 1799, and taught in the house of Gen. Ste 
phen Badlam, on the old Plymouth road (Washing 
ton Street), at the corner of what is now called River 
Street. He subsequently engaged in mercantile 

* Greenleaf s Ecclesiastical Sketches of Maine, p. 70. Mass. Hist. 
Coll., 2d series, vol. 4, p. 181. 


business at No. 1 Long Wharf, in Boston, in part- 
nership with James Andrews. At the breaking out 
of the war of 1812, he relinquished this business, 
and was afterwards engaged as supercargo in the 
West India trade. The children of Edward and 
Anna (Payson) Holden were six sons (of whom Ed 
ward, graduated at Yale College in 1812, was a 
lawyer, settled- in Kentucky) and six daughters. 
Edward Holden died of rapid consumption, on his 
passage to Boston from St. Domingo, November 
16th, 1823, in the 54th year of his age. 

JAMES BLAKE HOWE, son of Abraham and Pa 
tience (Blake) Howe, was born in Dorchester, March 
31, 1773, and graduated at Harvard College in 1794. 
He w r as the first teacher in the brick school-house, 
erected on Meeting-house Hill, in 1798, having pre 
viously taught in the old wooden house on the west 
erly side of the hill. He was afterwards an Epis 
copal clergyman, and was ordained Deacon, Novem 
ber 25th, 1817; ordained Priest, May 14th, 1819; 
Hector at Claremont, N. H., September 15th, 1819; 
died September 17th, 1844. A marble tablet to his 
memory, with an inscription upon it, is placed in 
St. Mary s Church, Dorchester. He had two wives, 
whom he outlived. The first was Sally Adams Bad- 
lam (daughter of Gen. Stephen Badlam), married 
November 22, 1797, died January 4th, 1817 ; the 
second, Mary White, married October 12th, 1820, 
died August 22, 1837. He had nine children.* 

* See the " Biake Family," by Samuel Blake, p. 51, for further 



BENJAMIN VINTON, " youngest child of Capt. John 
and Hephzibah (French) Vinton, of Brain tree, born 
October 14th, 1774 ;" graduated at Harvard College 
in 1795; married Sarah Webb, of Quincy, in May, 
1 802 ; " studied medicine under Dr. Ephraim Wale s, 
of Randolph, and at first settled as a physician in 
Marshfield. He was a surgeon s mate one year on 
board the U. S. frigate Boston, commanded by 
Capt. George Little, of Marshfield, during the quasi 
war with France in 1799." "In 1801, Dr. Vinton 
settled in Quincy, where he died, May llth, 1813," 
and was buried " under arms." He had two daugh 
ters, who died of consumption, unmarried, at the 
ages of 23 and 24 * 

SAMUEL GOULD, son of Maj. George and Rachel 
(Dwight, of Dedham) Gould, was born in Sutton, 
November 29th, 1770, from which place his parents 
removed, whilst he was quite young, to that part of 
Dedham which is now included in West Roxbury 
Studied medicine settled in practice in Needham, 
and married Esther, daughter of Jonathan Kings- 
bury, of the latter place, April 6th, 1804. They 
had four children Elizabeth, George, Sarah Kings- 
bury, and Mary Ann. After the death of his father, 
Dr. Gould returned to the old mansion in West 
Roxbury, and devoted his attention to agriculture. 
He died November 13th, 1845 ; his wife deceased 
January 4th, 1857. Dr. G. possessed good natural 
powers of mind, and highly respectable literary and 

See " Vinton Memorial," by Rev. John A. Vinton, p. 105. 


professional acquirements ; of marked politeness of 
manner ; to be as " polite as Dr. Gould," was to 
attain a high standard.* 

BENJAMIN HEATON was a son of Nathaniel, of 
Wrentham. His mother, it is said, was Margaret 
(Metcalf) Heaton, of that place. He graduated at 
Brown University, R. I., in 1790. In the year 1796, 
a newspaper, called the " Columbian Minerva," was 
started in Dedham ; it was published by Nathaniel 
and Benjamin Heaton. This paper was afterwards 
conducted by Herman Mann, Sen., who purchased 
the entire printing establishment in December, 1797. 
The "Minerva" was discontinued in 1804. This 
Benjamin was doubtless the teacher in the " Butler 
School," in Dorchester, in the winters of 1798 and 
99 (ante, p. 459, where the name is incorrectly 
given Nathaniel). He was " near-sighted, and the 
boys played him some tricks in consequence of that 
defect." - He is said to have been a good teacher. 
He was sometimes engaged in preaching, but was 
never ordained or settled as a minister. In a " Mi 
nerva," published June 12, 1800, is the following 
obituary notice : " Died, at Wrentham, Mr. Benja 
min Heaton, formerly one of the editors of the Mi 
nerva." He died on the 8th day of the above-men 
tioned month. Mr. II. was never married. His 
brother Nathaniel, it is said, published a spelling- 
book, called " Heaton 1 s Spelling-Book." 

The successor of Mr. Heaton, in the Butler School, 

* Communicated by Abijah W. Draper, M.D., of West Roxbury. 


in the winters of 1799 and 1800, was a Mr. PECK, 
of whom we have learned but little. " His right 
hand was deformed or mutilated from some cause, 
and he wrote with his left." 

WILLIAM MONTAGUE, son of Joseph and Sarah 
(Henry) Montague, was born at South Hadley, Sep 
tember 23d, 1757. When a youth he served in the 
army, and afterwards obtained a liberal education 
at Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1784. 
He was ordained by Bishop White. In June, 1787, 
he was inducted Rector of Christ Church, in Bos 
ton. Soon after his settlement there, he "visited 
England, and was in London in the years 1789 
and 90. He was the first Episcopal clergyman, 
ordained in America, who preached in an English 
pulpit." He was connected with Christ Church 
till May, 1792. About this time he was invited 
to take charge of the Episcopal church in Ded 
ham, where he remained until the year 1818, hav 
ing continued with that society twenty-six years. 
He taught what is now the Butler School, in Dor 
chester, in the winters of 1800 and 1801, " assisted 
by Lawrence Sprague, his student, a son of Dr. 
Sprague, of Dedham." Mr. Montague gave particu 
lar attention, in this school, to the study of mathe 
matics. He married Jane, daughter of Lemuel Lit 
tle, of Marshfield, July 22d, 1801, by whom he had 
five children. Mr. M. died at Dedham, July 22d, 
1833, in the 76th year of his age. 


WILLIAM CHANDLER, born in Woodstock, Conn., 
August 24th, 1777, was a son of Winthrop and 
Mary (Glyssan) Chandler, of Woodstock, grandson 
of William and Jemima (Bradbury, of Salisbury, 
Mass.), great-grandson of Dea. John and Elizabeth 
(Douglas) Chandler, one of the early proprietors of 
Woodstock, who was a son of William and Annice 
Chandler, of Roxbury. 

William (the teacher) graduated at Harvard College 
in 1801, and succeeded Samuel Veazie in the second 
school district. He is said to have been a man of 
fine attainments a correct and critical scholar. 
Though of a constitution apparently feeble, he was 
a good disciplinarian, and was particularly circum 
spect in preserving order in the school. He went to 
Nashville, Tenn., and was married. He died in 1850. 

PEARLEY LYON, son of Daniel and Prudence (May) 
Lyon, was born in Woodstock, Conn., June 3d, 1778. 
He taught the " Butler School," in the winters of 
1801, 2 and 3; was married to Polly Bradford, of 
Woodstock, Nov. 10th, 1803, and had seven children. 
His wife, Mary, died in 1830. He married, second, 
in 1835, Mary M. Whitney, who is still living. 
He died Feb. llth, 1841. 

" Mr. Lyon was said to be one of the most ener 
getic and successful farmers in Woodstock, and took 
pride in making improvements, and being first in 
getting through with planting, haying, &c. He was 
liberal and public spirited, and much esteemed by 
his fellow citizens."* 

* Letter of Ashbel Woodward, M. D., Franklin, Conn. 


LLOYD BOWERS HALL, born in Raynham, it is be 
lieved, in 1770, was a son of Col. Noah and Abiah 
(Dean) Hall, a family of considerable note and stand 
ing in that town. The mother of Lloyd was a 
daughter of Thomas Dean, of the same place. Mr. 
Hall graduated at Brown University, R. I., in the 
class of 1794 studied law with James Sproat, Esq., 
of Taunton, but never practised. He taught the 
new school at the Lower Mills Village, in 1803, be 
ing the successor of Daniel Leeds, Jr. Mr. II . died 
at Raynham, in the year 1835. He was never mar- 

STEPHEN HALE, son of Rev. Moses and Elizabeth 
Hale, was born in Boxford, Mass., about the year 
1780; graduated at Harvard College in 1802 ; mar 
ried Nancy, daughter of Abraham and Patience 
(Blake) Howe, of Dorchester, Dec. 6th, 1808, and died 
in West Newbury, at the house of his sister, Mrs. 
Eliphalet Emery, in the month of September, it is 
thought, of 1844. His wife died at the house of 
her brother, Rev. James Blake Howe, in Claremont, 
N. H., March 19th, 1829. They had three children.* 

WILKES ALLEN, son of Elnathan and Thankful 
(Hastings) Allen, was born in Shrewsbury, Mass., 
July 10th, 1775; graduated at Harvard College in 
1801 ; was the first teacher in the brick school- 
house, in Dorchester, District No. 1 ; was ordained 
at Chelmsford, the 16th of November, 1803; dis 
missed at his own request, Oct. 21st, 1832 ; removed 
~ * : 

* See " Blake Family," page 54. 


to Andover, where he died, Dec. 2d, 1845. He mar 
ried Mary, daughter of Deacon James Morrill, of 
Boston, Nov. 13th, 1805, by whom he had eight chil 
dren, two of whom were graduates of Harvard Col 
lege, in the classes of 1833 and 1842, viz., John 
Clarke and Nathaniel Glover Allen. John Clarke 
Allen died in 1834. 

ABNER GARDNER, son of Samuel and Dorothy 
(Miles) Gardner, was born in Charlestown, Nov. 28th, 
1781 ; graduated at Harvard College, in 1803 ; mar 
ried Mary, daughter of Ebenezer Niles, of Dorches 
ter, Oct. 18th, 1807. They had five children, three 
sons and two daughters. Mr. Gardner died on the 
29th of March, 1818. He was for some years a mer 
chant in Boston. 

ENOCH PRATT, son of Capt. William and Mary 
Pratt, was born in North Middleborough, Mass., in 
1781, and graduated at Brown University in 1803.* 
He taught in the brick school-house, near the old 
burying-ground, in 1804, while studying for the 
ministry with Rev. Dr. Harris. He afterwards stu 
died two years with Rev. Dr. Kirkland, in Boston ; 
was a school teacher there ; was licensed to preach 
by the Boston Association of Ministers ; preached 
temporarily in Portland, Me., Vergennes, Vt., 
Schaghticoke, N. Y., Brimfield, Mass., then in Barn- 

* On page 480, it was stated that there were two graduates at Brown 
University among the teachers of the Dorchester Schools. It has since 
been ascertained that there were three ; viz., Messrs. Heaton, Hall and 


stable, where he was ordained Oct. 28th, 1807. He 
was settled as Pastor, in the latter place, 30 years, 
when he resigned and located in the town of Brews- 
ter, where he now resides. Mr. Pratt retired some 
time since from all public service. He married Ma 
ry, daughter of Deacon Joseph Field, of Boston, in 
1810, by whom he had a daughter, Elizabeth F., 
who married Staats S. Morris, Esq., of Newark, N. J. 
Mr. Pratt married, 2d, Mercy Snow, of Brewster, in 
1825, by whom he had Mary K., who married El 
lison Conger, Esq., of Newark. Mr. P., by his third 
wife, Lucy, daughter of Deacon Brady Jenkins, of 
Barnstable, had a daughter Sarah, who married Dr. 
Curtis, of North Carolina; and one son, George 

Mr. Pratt is the author of a " History of Eastham, 
Wellfleet, and Orleans," published at Yarmouth, in 
1844, 8vo., pp. 180. 

GRIFFIN CHILD, son of Alpha and Molly (May) 
Child, was born in Woodstock, Conn., January 25th, 
1784. His parents were married March 27th, 1777. 
He had brothers Darius and Spencer, and sister Pa- 
melia, being himself the youngest of the family. He 
was a teacher in the " Butler School " in 1803 and 4 
(ante, page 459), and afterwards taught the school 
at the Lower Mills, then at Jamaica Plain, and per 
haps in, other places, with very good success. A 
contemporary teacher Hon. Ebenezer Everett, of 
Brunswick, Me. says, that at the examination of the 
schools in Dorchester, "in the spring of 1807, Mr. 
Child, who was quite an amateur instructor, bore 


away the palm from all of us." At that time there 
were five public schools in the town. The one in 
the upper, or fifth district, was in the charge of a 
female instructor for the summer term. 

Mr. Child married Ann, daughter of Lewis Peck, 
of Providence, R. L, August 15th, 1811, and by her 
had two sons. She died April 15th, 1816. He mar 
ried January 22d, 1818, Sarah, daughter of David 
Field, of Providence, by whom he had five children 
three sons and two daughters. His second wife, 
Sarah Field, died May 26th, 1855. Mr. Child 
for many years engaged in mercantile business in 
Providence. He is still living. 

Having gone through the list of male teachers, 
known to us, of a date anterior to 1805, we would 
again revert to the female instructors in the town, 
who in past times bore their part, also, in the great 
work of human culture many of them, to the world 
at large, unnoticed and unknown. Though we are 
unable to speak of them, except in a few instances, 
by name, we would honor them for their fidelity and 
moral worth. One humble individual, familiarly 
called " Ma am Mima," may be mentioned, who from 
her own scanty store of knowledge gave instruction 
to the young. Twelve and a half cents a week were 
paid her by each scholar in attendance. Poor wo 
man ! how they used to pity her. They would often 
carry to their teacher small pieces of wood for fuel, 
and food to eat, as she " could not afford," she said, 
" to have a dinner but once a week." These kind 


attentions from the children were repaid to them, 
by her, in love and thanks, and such services as it 
was in her power to render. Nearly sixty years 
have passed away since she was laid beneath the 
turf, in the westerly corner of the ancient burial 
ground. Some kind hands have erected a stone to 
her memory, on which is the following inscription : 

Here lies the body of 

Mrs. Jemima Smith, 

who died the 16th of November, 1798, 

in the 75th year of her age. 

A few feet from thence were laid, long since, the 
remains of another school mistress, over whose grave 
the storms of more than a century and a half have 
beaten. The quaint inscription on her monumental 
stone is as follows : 

Here Lyes y e Body 

of Miriam Wood, 
Formerly Wife to John Smith, 

Aged 73 Years. 

Died October y e 19th 


A Woman well beloved of all 

her neighbours, from her care of small 
Folks education, their number being great, 

that when she dy d she scarsely left her mate. 
So Wise, Discre[et], was her behaviors 

that she was well esteemed by neighbours. 
She hVd in love with all to dy[e] 

So let her rest [to] Eternaty. 



Graduates of Harvard College from the Town of Dorchester. 

THE following is a list of those who went from 
Dorchester to Harvard College, arranged chronologi 
cally, on the basis of the late Rev. Dr. Harris s 
account, in Mass. Historical Collections, Vol. IX. 
The year prefixed gives the time of their graduation. 

1643. SAMUEL MATHER, A. M., son of Rev. Rich 
ard Mather, of Dorchester, was born in Lancashire, 
Eng., May 13th, 1626. He was the first Fellow 
(then the same as Tutor) of the College ; and first 
preached at the North Church in Boston, where his 
brother Increase, and nephew Cotton Mather, were 
afterwards settled. He went over to England in the 
time of Cromwell, and was chosen one of the chap 
lains in Magdalen College, Oxford. Afterwards, he 
went to Ireland, and became one of the senior Fel 
lows of Trinity College in Dublin. Upon the en 
forcement of the act of uniformity in 1662, he left 
all his preferments in the Church, and became pas 
tor of a congregation of dissenters in Dublin, where 
he died, Oct. 29th, 1671, aged 45. 

1647. NATHANIEL MATHER, A. M., brother to the 
preceding, and his successor in the pastoral care of 
the Church in Dublin, was born in Lancashire, Eng., 
March 20th, 1630. After his graduation at Harvard 
College, he went to England. He was presented to 
the living at Barns taple, in the County of Devon, by 


Cromwell, in 1656. Upon his ejectment in 1662, 
he went into Holland, and was a minister at Rotter 
dam ; but about the time of the Revolution he went 
over to England, and was chosen pastor of a dissent 
ing congregation in London, where he died July 
26th, 1697, aged 67, in great esteem among his 
brethren for learning and piety. 

ICHABOD WISWALL. (See Schoolmasters, p. 483.) 

1650. WILLIAM STOUGHTON. (See page 271.) 

PELATIAH GLOVER, though educated at Cambridge, 
it seems never received a degree there. He was born 
in 1637; ordained at Springfield, June 18th, 1661, 
" when a Church was first gathered there," and was 
its pastor many years. He died March 29th, 1692, 
leaving several children. 

1651. JONATHAN BURR, A. M., son of Rev. Jona 
than Burr, of Dorchester. 

WILLIAM BRIMSMEAD was son of William, of Dor 
chester (who died about 1648, leaving four children, 
three sons and one daughter, Mary, who m. Benja 
min Leeds, 17 : 7 : 1667). He was educated at Har 
vard College, but never had a degree. (See page 
483.) Mr. Brimsmead was a preacher at Marlbo- 
rough as early as September, 1660. He afterwards 
left that place and preached for a time in Plymouth, 
where he was invited to settle, but declined the call. 
He returned to Marlborough, where he was ordained 


Oct. 3d, 1666. As he was in the midst of his dis 
course, on Sunday, March 20th, 1676, the whole as 
sembly were aroused by the cry of " Indians at the 
door." The congregation immediately fled to the 
Fort, which was not far distant. They all reached 
the place in safety, except one man, Moses Newton, 
who was wounded. The meeting-house and many of 
the dwelling-houses were destroyed. The inhabi 
tants dispersed, but in the year following returned 
and erected a new meeting-house. " Tradition at 
tributes to him one odd conceit, that he uniformly 
refused baptism to children who were born on the 
Sabbath. " The first Covenant of the Church of 
Marlborough, called " the Brimsmead Covenant," as 
renewed Oct. 15th, 1679, was used by the Church, 
with a few verbal changes only, until 1837.* He 
was never married. He died on Commencement 
morning, July 3d, 1701. Rev. Asa Packard, in 
1795 (Mass. Hist. Coll., Vol. 4, p. 47), states that 
there was then an unlettered stone to his memory. 
He was characterized as a " well accomplished ser 
vant of Christ." 

Mr. Brimsmead preached an Election Sermon in 
1681, which was printed. Among the papers made 
use of by Prince, in compiling his " Annals," was a 
journal in Latin, kept by Mr. B., from 1665 to 1695, 
inclusive, f 

* See a copy of the Covenant, in Field s Historical Sketch of the First 
Church in Marlborough, 1859. 
f Allen s Biographical Dictionary. 


1656. ELEAZER MATHER, son of Rev. Richard 
Mather, was bom in Dorchester, May 13th, 1637. 
He was invited by the people of Northampton, in 
June, 1658, to preach on probation, and was ordain 
ed over the Church there, June 23d, 1661. " Here 
he labored for eleven years in the vineyard of the 
Lord ; much admired as a man of talents and exalt 
ed piety, and as a zealous preacher." He died July 
24th, 1669, aged 32 years. His wife was Esther, 
the only daughter of Rev. John Warham. (See page 

1656. INCREASE MATHER, A. M., brother to the 
former, was born in Dorchester, June 21st, 1639. 
He was ordained minister of the North Church in 
Boston, May 27th, 1669 ; was appointed President 
of the College in 1685, but resigned that office in 
1701. He was the first person who received the 
degree of Doctor of Divinity at Harvard College. 
This was given him in 1692. He died August 23d, 
1723, aged 85 years. 

Dr. Mather was a man of decided ability and en 
terprise, and although unpopular with a small por 
tion of his fellow citizens, his counsels had great 
weight both with the clergy and body politic. He 
was sent to England as agent of the Mass. Colony 
(see page 485), and had great influence over the 
friends of New England, on that side of the Atlantic. 
He kept a vigilant eye on the privileges granted by 
the charter. Taken as a divine, a scholar and a 
man of political strength and sagacity, he was a gi 
ant. The conversation between Dr. Mather, King 


William and Queen Mary, related by Rev. Cotton 
Mather, in the memoirs of his father, is very inter 
esting. It was to the subject of this notice that 
Queen Mary uttered the following beautiful senti 
ment, so full of kindness and toleration viz. : " It 
is not in the power of men to believe what they 
please ; therefore I think they should not be forced 
in matters of religion, contrary to their persuasions 
and their consciences. I wish all good men were of 
one mind ; however, in the mean time, I would have 
them live peaceably and love one another." It was 
in reference to this paragraph that Cotton Mather 
breaks forth as follows : " O mentis aurece, verba 
brficteata. My ink, too vile a liquor art thou to 
write so divine a sentence."* 

1665. HOPE ATHERTON. (See Schoolmasters, 
p. 489.) 

1667. JOHN FOSTER. (See account of him on 
pages 244 and 492.) 

1671. SAMUEL MATHER, A. M., son of Timothy 
and Elizabeth (Weeks) Mather, was born in Dor 
chester, July 5th, 1650. He was a minister at 
Windsor, in Connecticut, 45 years. He was one of 
the first Trustees of Yale College, and died March 
18th, 1727-8, aged 77. 

* Mass. Hist. Coll., Vol. 9, p. 251. For interesting Memoirs of 
the Mathers, Samuel, Nathaniel, Eleazer and Increase, by John Farmer, 
see American Quarterly Register, Vol. 8, pp. 134, 332 j and Vol. 
9, p. 367. 


1675. JAMES MINOT. (See Schoolmasters, page 


1677. EDWARD PAYSON, A. M., son of Edward, 
for many years a minister at Rowley, died Aug. 22d, 
1732, aged 75 years, 2 months and 10 days. 

1677. JOSEPH CAPEN, A. M., son of John Capen, 
of Dorchester, was baptized January 2d, 1658; or 
dained at Topsfield, June 4th, 1684 ; died June 30th, 
1725, aged 67. 

1690. NATHANIEL CLAP, A. M., son of Nathan 
iel Clap, of Dorchester, was baptized January 24th, 
1668. He was for nearly fifty years a minister at 
Newport, in Rhode Island ; and died October 30th, 
1745, in the 78th year of his age. 

1693. HENRY FLINT, Esq., A. M., son of Rev. 
Josiah Flint, of Dorchester. " He was for fifty-five 
years a tutor at Harvard College, and one of the 
Fellows of the Corporation sixty years. He died 
February 13th, 1760, aged 84. A discourse was de 
livered at his funeral by Rev. Dr. Appleton, from 
Psalm cxii., 7, which pays a just tribute to his 
piety, learning, and worth; and an elegant Latin 
oration by James Lovell, A. M. A volume of Mr. 
Flint s sermons was published in 1739, which pos 
sesses considerable merit." 

1695, JOHN .ROBINSON. (See Schoolmasters, page 


1698. RICHARD BILLINGS. (See Schoolmasters, 
page 506.) 

1700. EGBERT BRECK, A. M., son of John Breck, 
of Dorchester, was born Dec. 7th, 1682. After leav 
ing College he preached for a time at Long Island, in 
the Province of New York, during the Government of 
Lord Cornbury. " There he had the Courage, though 
at that Time Young, to assert and adhere to the 
Cause and Principles of the Non-Conformists, notwith 
standing the Threatenings and other ill Treatment 
he there met with." He was ordained the second 
minister of Marlborough, Mass., Oct. 25th, 1704, 
when only 22 years of age, succeeding Rev. William 
Brimsmfead. He married Elizabeth Wainwright, of 
Haverhill, by whom he had six children, one of whom, 
Robert, was ordained a minister at Springfield, Jan. 
26th, 1736, where he died April 23d, 1784, in the 
71st year of his age and the 49th of his ministry.* 
Robert, the father, died in Marlborough, Jan. 6th, 
1731, at the age of 49 years, "in the vigor of his 
powers, and universally lamented. On the occasion 
of his death, three funeral sermons were preached to 
his people : one by Mr. Prentice, of Lancaster ; one 
by Mr. Swift, of Framingham ; and also one by Mr. 
Loring, of Sudbury ; all of which were published in 
a single pamphlet." A monument was erected to 
his memory, on which is a Latin inscription, f 

* See Holland s History of Western Massachusetts, Vol. 1, p. 199. 
f See Field s Sketch of Marlborough Church, before referred to, 
pp. 1623, 


1701. SAMUEL WISWALL. (See Schoolmasters, 
page 506.) 

1703. ELIJAH DANFORTH. (See Schoolmasters, 
page 507.) 

1704. EBENEZER WHITE. (See Schoolmasters, 
page 512.) 

1711. SAMUEL BLAKE, A. M., son of John Blake, 
of Dorchester, was born Sept. 26th, 1691 ; was a 
schoolmaster at Barns table ; died April 29th, 1715, 
aged 23. 

1715. SAMUEL DANFORTH. (See Schoolmasters, 

page 512.) 

1723. NATHANIEL GLOVER, A. M., Clerk in the 
store of Thomas Hancock, Esq., of Boston. 

1724. PHILLIPS PAYSON. (See Schoolmasters, 
page 516.) 

1724. ISAAC BILLINGS, A. M., son of Roger, was 
born in Dorchester, July, 1703; died in Milton, 
1784. (See Schoolmasters, page 515.) 

1725. ICHABOD WISWALL, for many years a 
Schoolmaster at Martha s Vineyard ; died at Edgar- 
town, in June, 1782. 

1725. JAMES ROBINSON, probably son of John; 


if so, he was born in 1704. He was a physician at 
Newport, and died Nov. 29th, 1745. 

1729. SAMUEL MOSELEY. (See Schoolmasters, 
page 518.) 

1730. WILLIAM ROYAL, born in Dorchester, was 
Representative from that town. Died in Stough- 
ton, January 15th, 1794, aged 84. 


1731. SUPPLY CLAP. (See Schoolmasters, page 

1732. MATHER WITHIN GTON, son of Ebenezer 
Withington, of Dorchester. After he took his de 
gree, he kept a school at Cape Ann. He commenc 
ed preaching, and was much esteemed for his talents, 
virtues, and piety. He died April 28th, 1736. 

1735. GILLAM TAILOR, son of Lieut. Governor 
William, was a physician in Boston. He died July 
17th, 1757, aged 39. 

1735. NOAH CLAP. (See page 356.) 

1741. THOMAS JONES. (See Schoolmasters, page 

1742. NATHANIEL HATCH, Justice of the Court 
of Common Pleas for Suffolk, was a Loyalist. He 


went to England, and died there in the year 1780, 

EDWARD BASS. (See Schoolmasters, page 

1744. SAMUEL BIRD, of Dorchester, was in the 
same class with Dr. Bass, but did not obtain his de 
gree, in consequence of some rash censures upon 
several of the Governors of the College and the ven 
erable clergyman of Cambridge, which were dictated 
by religious enthusiasm. He was afterwards settled 
as a minister at New Haven, where he died. 

1744. JAMES HUMPHREY. (See Schoolmasters, 
page 527.) 

1753. THOMAS OLIVER, born in Dorchester, Jan. 
5th, 1734; Lieut. Governor in the year 1774; went 
to England on the breaking out of the Revolution, 
and died in Bristol, England, Nov. 29th, 1815, aged 
82. He lived at the Five Corners, in the house now 
owned by Mr. George Richardson. 

1755. JONATHAN BOWMAN was born Dec. 8th, 
1735. He was the son of Rev. Jonathan Bowman, 
of Dorchester, was Judge of Probate for Lincoln Co., 
Me., and died in Dresden, Maine, Sept. 10th, 1804, 
aged 69. 

1760. JAMES BAKER. (See Schoolmasters, page 



1761. JOHN BASS, son of Joseph, and brother of 
Bishop Bass, was born in Dorchester, Oct. 9th, 1738. 
He went to Nova Scotia, and kept school, and there 
died. He was never married. 

1761. DANIEL LEEDS. (See Schoolmasters, page 

1764. WILLIAM BOWMAN. t (See Schoolmasters, 
page 530.) 

1769. JAMES BLAKE, son of Samuel and Patience 
(White) Blake, was born in Dorchester, Dec. 10th, 
1750. He entered College at the age of fifteen, and 
exhibited there an eminent pattern of studiousness 
and proficiency in learning. Distinguished for the 
purity of his morals, the exemplariness of his conduct, 
and the sweetness of his temper, he conciliated the 
love of all his fellow students, and the high approba 
tion of his instructors. After taking his first degree, 
he went to Weymouth, to take the charge of a 
school, which he kept to general satisfaction. That 
employment he resigned in about nine months, and 
devoted himself to the study of divinity, under the 
instruction of Rev. William Smith. " He pursued 
this his favorite study with unwearied assiduity for a 
year, and then began the important work of the 
ministry, but not without great reluctance ; for he 
had determined not to preach till he acquired a per 
fect knowledge in the fundamental parts of religion. 
But Mr. Smith being sick, he was many times urged 
to take his place until he recovered, which, after 


repeated denials, he did. Thus having made a be 
ginning, he continued almost every sabbath, until 
he died." He died November 17th, 1771, after a 
short illness, wanting one month of being twenty- 
one years old. 

A small volume of his sermons was published by 
his friends, several of which are now in possession 
of relatives of the family. They discover a strength 
of mind, a clear and ^comprehensive intellect, truly 
wonderful in so young a person. On his grave stone, 
in Dorchester, is the following inscription : 

"An Angel s arm can t snatch him from the grave; 
Legions of Angels can t confine him there. 7 * 

1772. JOHN HOMANS, during the American war, 
was a surgeon in the army, and afterwards settled as 
a physician in Boston. " Dr. Homans had received 
from nature a great share of superior sense, which 
was well cultivated, and evinced a mind rich in 
bright ideas and refmedly polished by education. 
As a physician he was not inferior to any of his age ; 
he was employed much, and greatly approved." 
The duties of this profession he discharged with 
great tenderness and humanity ; and in behalf of the 
poor, with disinterested benevolence. Having been 
several years quite an invalid, in the year 1800 he un 
dertook a voyage to the northwest coast of America 
for the recovery of his health, but died on the sec 
ond day after the departure of the vessel, June 3d, 
in the 47th year of his age. 

* See "Blake Family," pp. 3335. 


1782. JONATHAN BIRD. (See Schoolmasters, 
page 536.) 

1783. DANIEL LEEDS. (See Schoolmasters, page 

1787. BENJAMIN BEALE was born in Quincy, 
and spent part of his life in France. He died in 1826. 

1793. JOHN PIERCE, son of John and Sarah 
(Blake) Pierce, was born in Dorchester, July 14th, 
1773. He was ordained minister of Brookline, 
Mass., March 15th, 1797. He continued in the 
ministry until his death, which took place August 
24th, 1849. Although a large part of his life was 
spent in Brookline, he was well known and much 
respected by the inhabitants of Dorchester, and few 
were so well acquainted with its history as Dr. 
Pierce. He was an ardent, and very active man, 
and enjoyed life to a remarkable degree up to his 
last illness. He was a devoted friend of Harvard 
College, took a great interest in whatever related to 
it, and was for many years its Secretary. 

1794. JAMES BLAKE HOWE. (See Schoolmas 
ters, page 545.) 

1795. SAMUEL TOPLIFF. (See Schoolmasters, 
page 542.) 

1796. MOSES EVERETT. (See Schoolmasters, page 


1797. ELISHA CLAP, born in Dorchester, June 
25th, 1776, son of Lemuel and Eebecca (Dexter) 
Clap; died in Boston, Oct. 22d, 1830. He was edu 
cated for the ministry, but preached only a short 
time. He was very successful as a teacher of youth- 

1798. HENRY GARDNER, son of Treasurer Henry 
Gardner of Stow, father of Ex-Governor Henry J. 
Gardner, was born August 2d, 1779 ; died June 
19th, 1858. He studied medicine with Dr. John 
Warren, of Boston, but never practised. He was a 
Representative from Dorchester three years, a Sena 
tor from Norfolk County three years, and a member 
of the Convention of 1820 to Revise the Constitu 
tion. A very energetic and prompt man. 

1802. JOSEPH GARDNER, brother of the last nam 
ed, was born August 16th, 1782. He was a skilful 
physician in Dorchester, and died June 29th, 1809. 

1802. JAMES EVERETT, son of Rev. Moses, was 
born Oct. 13th, 1782; died at Port Mahon, April 
12th, 1837. He was a Chaplain in the U. S. Navy, 
and the latter part of his life an ardent Episcopalian. 
He was admitted to Priest s orders July 15th, 1829. 

Hon. Benjamin Hichborn, of Dorchester, was born 
in Dorchester, February 1st, 1783. He was a law 
yer in Boston, and subsequently in Mississippi. He 
died in November, 1818, aged 33. 


born August 15th, 1786; died April 30th, 1809. 

1805. NATHANIEL CLAPP, son of Nathaniel, was 
born in Dorchester, October 21st, 1783 ; kept school 
in Dorchester a while, but was for many years con 
nected with the Tremont Bank, in Boston. He died 
November 4th, 1847. 

1806. EBENEZER EVERETT, son of Moses Everett, 
was born August 15th, 1788 ; now living, a lawyer 
in Brunswick, Maine. He kept school in Dorches 
ter a short time. (See page 539.) 

1807. ELEAZAR CLAPP, son of Ebenezer and Ma 
ry (Glover) Clapp, was born August 18th, 1786. 
He was a physician; died August 27th, 1817. 

1809. WILLIAM SWIFT, born Sept. llth, 1779. 

1810. LEMUEL CAPEN, son of John, Jr., and Pa 
tience (Davis) Capen, was born in Dorchester, Nov. 
25th, 1788. He was ordained pastor of the Unita 
rian Church in Sterling, Mass., March 22d, 1815 > 
resigned June 21st, 1819. He was installed over 
the Hawes Place Church, South Boston, Oct. 31st, 
1827; resigned in 1839. He died August 28th, 
1858, aged 69 years and 9 months. (See N. E. Hist, 
and Gen. Register for Jan., 1859, p. 86.) 

1811. WALTER BAKER, son of Edmund, was born 
July 28th, 1792; was owner of the extensive choco- 


late mills in Dorchester, and a man of genius and 
enterprise. He was a Colonel of the 1st Regiment, 
1st Brigade, 1st Division, Mass. Militia, and an offi 
cer of great merit. He represented the town in 
General Court for several years, and died in Boston 
May 7th, 1852. 

1811. EDWARD EVERETT, son of Oliver and Lucy 
(Hill) Everett, was born in Dorchester, April llth, 
1794; now living. He is the distinguished orator. 
(See Loring s " Hundred Boston Orators," p. 529.) 

1812. JOHN HOMANS was born September 17th, 
1793 ; a physician in Boston, now living. 

born in England, February 24th, 1792, and came to 
New England in his youth. He was a man of dis 
tinction ; was Rector of Trinity Church, Boston, and 
subsequently Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of 
Eastern New York. He died Sept. 21st, 1854. 

1815. STEVENS EVERETT, son of Rev. Moses, 
was born Dec. 14th, 1797. He was Pastor of the 
Unitarian Church in Hallowell, Me. ; was very 
feeble in health, the latter part of his life, and died 
in Dorchester February 20th, 1833. 

of Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, was born in Dor 
chester, Nov. 12th, 1795. He was a physician in 
Milton for several years, and subsequently for a long 


period the distinguished Librarian of Harvard Col 
lege. He died in Cambridge, January 16th, 1856. 

1821. WILLIAM WITHINGTON, son of Joseph 
Weeks Withington, is a clergyman of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church. 

1823. WILLIAM PARSONS LUNT, son of the late 
Henry and Mary Green (Pearson) Lunt, was born in 
Newburyport, April 21st, 1805. He was a man of 
great mental cultivation, a poet and writer of dis 
tinction. He was ordained Pastor of the Second 
Congregational Unitarian Society in New York City, 
June 19th, 1828; was installed June 3d, 1835, as 
Colleague with Rev. Peter Whitney, of Quincy, 
Mass., who died March 3d, 1843. Mr. Lunt was 
sole minister of that Church and Society from the 
death of Mr. Whitney till his own decease. He 
sailed for Egypt in December, 1856, was taken ill 
while crossing the desert between Cairo and Jerusa 
lem whither he was bound, and died March 21st, 
1857, at Akaba, a small village in Arabia Petraea, 
near the site of the ancient cities of Elath and Ezion 

1827. AARON DAVIS CAPEN, son of John Capen. 
Several years a teacher in Boston, now an agricul 
turist in Dorchester. 

1831. WILLIAM SAXTON MORTON, son of Joseph 
Morton, born Sept. 22d, 1809; now a lawyer in 
Quincy, Massachusetts. 



1832. CHARLES FRANCIS BARNARD, son of John; 
was born Feb. 9th, 1811; now living, a dentist, in 

1834. THADDETJS CLAPP, son of William, was 
born May llth, 1811; an agriculturist, now living 
in Dorchester. 

1837. HENRY VOSE was born May 21st, 1817, 
son of the late Elijah Vose; now living, a lawyer, 
in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

1838. DARIUS RICHMOND BREWER was born June 
23d, 1819; son of Darius Brewer; a clergyman of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church, now at Newport, 
Rhode Island. 

1838. ABNER LORING GUSHING was born July 
19th, 1816; son of Hon. Abel Gushing; a lawyer 
in Randolph, Massachusetts. 

1838. JAMES ROBINSON PEIRCE was born Feb. 
13th, 1818; son of John Peirce; studied for the 
ministry. Died in 1842. 

1842. BENJAMIN GUSHING was born May 9th, 
1822; son of Jerome Gushing, of Hingham; is a 
physician in Dorchester. 

1844. ROBERT CODMAN was born March 18th, 


1823 ; son of Rev. John Codman, D.D. ; is a lawyer 
in Boston. 

1849. JOHN WAIT DRAPER was born August 
14th, 1830 ; son of Jeremiah Draper; is a lawyer in 

1849. JAMES PIERCE, son of James and Mary 
(Withington) Pierce, was born in Dorchester, Nov. 
20th, 1826 ; studied for the ministry ; died of con 
sumption, on his passage from Europe, on board 
ship Parliament, May 29th, 1853. 

1851. JOHN APPLETON BAILEY, son of John Bai 
ley, was born July 23d, 1828; now living. 

1852. WILLIAM HENRY PHIPPS was bom Feb. 
26th, 1832; son of Samuel Phipps; now living. 

1852. HENRY GARDNER DENNY, son of Daniel 
Denny ; a lawyer in Boston. 

1853. EDWARD L. PIERCE, son of Jesse Pierce; 
a lawyer in Boston. 

1854. DANIEL DENNY, Jr., son of Daniel. 

1855. JOHN BOIES TILESTON, son of Edmund P. 




In College in 1858: 

Edward Griffin Porter, son of the late Eoyal L. 
Porter; William Willard Swan and Francis Henry 
Swan, sons of William D. Swan ; Henry Austin 
Clapp, son of John P. Clapp ; Thomas Bayley Fox, 
son of Thomas B. Fox ; Charles Alfred Humphreys, 
son of Henry Humphreys ; Abner Francis Thomp 
son, son of Joshua P. Thompson, who lately remov 
ed from Dedham to Dorchester; Alpheus Holmes 
Hardy, son of Alpheus Hardy. 


Neponset River Its Sources, Tides, &c. Neponset Tribe of In 
dians Navigation of the River Various Fishes in its Waters 
Ferries, Bridges, &c. 

As the history of the Mills in Dorchester is so in 
timately connected with that of the Mills in Milton, 
and both are so dependent upon Neponset River, it 
is thought that a glance at the history of the river 
may not here be out of place ; and more particularly 
when we reflect that nearly the whole of the river 
was within the ancient township of Dorchester, and 
that its waters turned the wheels of nearly all the 
important branches of manufactures in their infancy, 
for which Massachusetts has become so well known 
throughout the nation. 

In the northerly part of the town of Foxboro 
there are extensive tracts of low land meadows and 
swamps which send off their waters by several 


brooklets, which, when united, form the west or 
main branch of the Neponset River. 

In the year 1846, several individuals, who were 
proprietors of mills on the Neponset Eiver, obtained 
an act of incorporation under the title of the Ne 
ponset Reservoir Company, and soon after erected a 
dam across the united brooklets in the town of Fox- 
boro , for the purpose of retaining the waters in a 
large reservoir, from which to draw water in dry 
seasons for the use of their mills. This reservoir, 
styled the Neponset Reservoir, covers an area of be 
tween three and four hundred acres, and when well 
filled is about eight feet in depth thus forming a 
body of water which in the dry season of the year 
is a powerful auxiliary to the other sources for their 
supply when needed. 

From the westerly side of this reservoir is the 
outlet which is now the birth place of the Neponset 
River. From this point it flows in a humble stream 
nearly north about one mile, where it enters the 
south part of the town of Walpole, near the centre 
of which town it receives the waters of Diamond 
Brook, which has its source in Sharon, and also the 
waters of Mill Brook, which has its source in 
the eastern part of Medfield. From the north 
part of the town of Walpole it runs through the 
northwest corner of Sharon, and enters the town of 
Dedham near its southerly part. Soon after leaving 
this point, it takes the waters of Bubbling Brook, 
which is formed by two small brooks, the one rising 
in Medfield and the other in Dover. From this 
point the river traverses three sides of a square, 


nearly, and then becomes the boundary line of the 
towns of Sharon and Dedham. Pursuing its course 
northerly, it receives the waters of Tadpole Brook, 
which rises in the town of Sharon. From this point 
it soon becomes the boundary of the towns of Ded 
ham and Canton. When near the junction of the 
Providence and Stoughton Branch Rail Road, it re 
ceives the valuable acquisition of the stream known 
as the Eastern Branch of the Neponset River. 

This stream is formed by the surplus water of 
Massapoag Pond, mingling with a small brook, both 
rising in Sharon and there uniting with the waters 
of York Brook, from the northeast part of Canton, 
which was dammed up at a place known as the 
Crossman meadows, about half a mile southeasterly 
from the first Church in Canton (by the Neponset 
Woolen Manufacturing Company, of which Har 
rison Gray Otis was President in 1827) thus form 
ing a reservoir, covering an area of upwards of three 
hundred acres of water six and a half feet deep. 
Upon the failure of that Company, the property in 
the reservoir passed into the hands of the Revere 
Copper Company, who now hold and manage it 
for their own use, in common with the use of all the 
manufacturing interests on the stream. 

The union of these waters forms the eastern branch 
of the Neponset. Upon this stream Benjamin Ever- 
deh set up his powder-mill, when he sold his privi 
lege at Dorchester Lower Mills to Edward Preston, 
in 1757. Here Jonathan Leonard and Adam Kins 
ley set up their extensive forges in 1789, which 
have been so long and so favorably known, and 


where Lyman Kinsley, a descendant of the original 
proprietor, now carries on extensively the same busi 
ness ; and James Bomant set up a cotton mill in 1800. 
Upon this branch, Paul Revere, of Revolutionary 
notoriety, established the first Copper Works in 
America, in 1801, for the making of brass guns, bells, 
&c. Paul Revere & Son were succeeded by the 
Revere Copper Company, who were incorporated in 
1828, and who now carry on the business exten 
sively. Upon this branch is the Canton Stone Fac 
tory, originally built for the purpose of carrying on 
the woolen business, but which is now used for the 
manufacture of cotton goods. 

The eastern and western branches, united, flow 
northerly, dividing the towns of Dedham and Canton, 
and about five miles below the junction receive the 
surplus waters of Punkapoag* Pond through a brook 
of the same name. About one and a half miles 
below this point, the river becomes the bounds of 
the towns of Dedham and Milton, and continues so 
for about two miles, where it receives the waters of 
the Mother Brooks, which is a stream formed by di 
verting one third of the waters of Charles River from 
its natural course, in the town of Dedham, about 
half a mile north of the Court House, and which 
turns the wheels of several large manufactories in 
Dedham. The Mother Brooks loses its identity in 
the Neponset, at the foot of Brush Hill, in Milton. 
The Neponset here turning a more easterly course, 
divides the towns of Dorchester and Milton for about 
five miles, during which course it receives the waters 

* The name Punkapoag signifies a stream issuing out of red earth. 


of a stream running nearly through the centre of the 
town of Milton, known at present as Aunt Sarah s* 
Brook, but on the ancient plans styled Robert Bab- 
cock s river. The Neponset then divides the towns 
of Dorchester and Quincy for about two miles, until 
it loses itself in the waters of Dorchester Bay, be 
tween Commercial Point of the present day (for 
merly known as Preston s Point, anciently as the Cap 
tain s Point, and by the Indians as Tinnean), on the 
west, and the north point of the Farm Meadows in 
Quincy, formerly known as Mr. Hawkins s Meadow 
having run a course of about thirty miles from the 
Neponset Reservoir to the salt water. 

The Neponset runs through a large tract of mea 
dow land, commencing in the southerly part of Ded- 
ham, and running about seven and a quarter miles 
to Paul s Bridge, in Milton, which meadows are 
known as the Great Fowl Meadows, from the fact 
that in the early part of the last century a large 
flight of a peculiar kind of fowl visited these mea 
dows, and sowed the seed of a grass before unknown 

* About one mile south of Milton Bridge, this brook approaches the 
old Taunton Road in the town of Milton, and there forms a public 
watering place ; and where the two roads now divide, directly opposite 
the brook, stood the house of Mr. Elijah Vose. After his death, and 
during the revolutionary war, his widow, Sarah Vose, occupied the 
house, and sat constantly at her door when the w r eather would permit, 
accosting every person who passed, with the salutation, " What s the 
news from the war ? I have four sons gone to the war what s the news 
from the war ?" The old lady has been many years in her grave, and 
her name has been transferred to the brook, to keep in remembrance 
the aged widow who furnished four sons for the war. Col. Joseph Vose, 
and Lieut. Col. Elijah Vose, of the First Massachusetts Regiment, 
were two of the sons ; and Bill and Moses, who served in more humble 
capacities, were the other two. 


in that region. From the way it was introduced, it 
received the name of Fowl Meadow Grass. The 
seed of this grass has been collected for the market, 
and the value of the grass has caused the seed to 
become an article of merchandise. 

Between the mouth of the river and the head of 
tide water the tides usually rise and fall about ten 
feet, but occasionally vary much from that. They 
have been known to rise and fall less than four feet ; 
and, on the other hand, have been known to rise to 
great heights. Tradition informs us that the high 
tide of 1786 was ten inches higher than was ever 
before known, and was about five feet and six inches 
above the average of tides. The tide of March, 
1825, exceeded the last by one inch. The tide of 
March, 1830, was half an inch higher than that of 

1825. The tide of ArmL 1851 Hrnnwn tha liorhf. \ 

house tide, from its happening at the time of the 
destruction of Minot s Ledge Light-house), exceeded 
the tide of 1830 by one foot and an inch being six 
feet and eight and a half inches above the average 
of tides. To commemorate the height of this tide, 
an iron bolt has been permanently placed, by~\ 
the Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society, / 
in the large rock just below the bridge at the Lower 
Falls, the top of the head of which bolt is the point 
to which that tide arose. A bolt, with a head six 
inches in circumference, has also been placed on the 
easterly side of the bridge, in one of the stone piers ; 
also in several other places the centre of the head 
of the bolt fixing the same point as the top of the 
bolt in the rock. 



From the highest point to which the tide has ever 
been known to rise, to the lowest point it has ever 
been known to fall, is nineteen feet five and a half 

The navigation of the river is usually interrupted \ 
about two months in each year, by being frozen up, 
as the following record for the last twenty years / 
will show. 


River frozen over. 

December 13, 183T. 
November 26, 1838. 
December 20, 1839. 
December 24, 1840. 
December 22, 1842. 
February 6, 1843. 
January 5, 1844. 
December IT, 1844. 
December 13, 1845. 
January 12, 184T. 
December 2T, 1847. 
December 31, 1848. 
December 2T, 1849. 
December 25, 1850. 
December 1, 1851. 
December 30, 1852. 
January 23, 1854. 
February 5, 1855. 
January 1, 1856. 
December 10, 1856. 
February 12, 1858. 

River clear of ice. 

March IT, 1838. 
February 26, 1839. 
February 21, 1840. 
February 28, 1841. 
Opened and closed several times. 
March 30, 1843. 
March 11, 1844. 
February 26, 1845. 
March 14, 1846. 
March 8, 184T. 
February 22, 1848. 
March 18, 1849. 
February 10, 1850. 
February 15, 1851. 
March 12, 1852. 
February IT, 1853. 
March 9, 1854. 
March 4, 1855. 
April 5, 1856. 
March 10, 185T. 
March , 1858. 

The head of navigation, or the place where the 
fresh and salt waters begin to mingle, was the seat 
of that branch of the Massachusetts tribe of Indians 
known as the Neponset tribe. This place they call 
ed Unquety, and the falls, at which they took large 


quantities of fish, were called Unquety Quissett, 
Here they caught their shad, torn-cod, alewives, and 
eels in abundance. Their canoes took them readily 
to the crocks, where bass was abun